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The Bopp biB^Ai\^._.. , 


Professor of Comparative Philology in the 
TJniversity of Berlin. 

Purchased by CorneU University, 186S. 

Cornell University Library 
PL 4603.C13 

A comparative arammar of the Dravidian o 

3 1924 023 009 966 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 






The Rev. R. CALDWELL, B.A., 




185 6. 


ST. martin's lane. 


It is many years since I felt convinced that much light 
might be thrown on the grammar of the Tamil language, by 
comparing it with that of the Telugu, the Canarese, and other 
sister idioms; and on proceeding to make this comparison, I 
found, not only that my supposition was verified by the result, 
but that the Tamil imparts still more light than it receives, 
and also, that none of the South-Indian languages can be 
thoroughly understood or appreciated without some study of 
the others. 

Probably many other students of the South-Indian languages 
have been led to the same conclusion; but as the mission of the 
English in India is one which admits of little or no literary 
leisure, — as the old East, after the sleep of centuries, has begun 
to wake up and to clamour for the supply of its many material 
and moral wants, and as the majority of Anglo-Indians, whether 
they are engaged in the work of government, or in ' educational 
and Missionary labours, find that they have a world of work to 
do, and but little time or strength for doing it, this department 
of comparative philology, though peculiarly promising, has 
hitherto lain almost entirely uncultivated. 

Much, it is true, has been done towards the elucidation of 
some of the South-Indip,n languages taken separately, especially 
the Tamil and the Telugu. Beschi's Grammar of the Shen- 
Tamil, and Mr. C. P. Brown's Telugu Grammar, rise far above 
the level of the ordinary Grammars of the Indian vernaculars: 
But the study of those languages, viewed as a whole — the interr 


comparison of their grammars-^is still in its infancy; and it is 
only when philology becomes comparative, that it becomes 
scientific and progressive. 

The first to break ground in the field was Mr. Ellis, a 
Madras Civilian, who was profoundly versed in the Tamil lan- 
guage and literature, and whose interesting but very brief com- 
parisou, not of the grammatical forins, but only of some of the 
vocables of three Providian dialects, is contained in his Intro- 
duction to Campbell's Telugu Grammar, 

The next attempt that was made in this direction, was by 
the Rev. Dr. Stevenson, of Bombay, in some interesting papers 
on the languages of the Dekhan, which appeared in the Journal 
of the Bombay Asiatic Society. The main object which Dr. Ste- 
venson appeared to have in view, was that of establishing the 
identity of the Un-Sanscrit element which is contained in the 
North-Indian vernaculars, with the grammar and vocabulary of 
the Southern idioms. He failed, as it appeared to me, to 
establish that point; but many of his remarks on the characte- ' 
ristic features of DrS, vidian Grammar, and on the essential unity 
of the Dr&vidian dialects were perfectly correct; and though his 
papers were of too sketchy a character to be of much permanent 
philological value, they were decidedly in advance of everything 
which had hitherto been published on this subject. 

I was not aware of the existence of Ellis's or Stevenson's 
contributions to Dr&vidian comparative philology, when my 
own attention was directed to this department of study; and 
when at length I made their acquaintance, I felt no less 
desirous than before of going forward, for though I had lost the 
satisfaction of supposing myself to be the discoverer of a new 
field, yet it now appeared to be certain that the greater part of 
the field still lay not only uncolonized, but unexplored. 

II have not referred to Mr. Brian Hodgson's numerous and 
learned papers on the * Tamulian ' languages of India, though I 
have long been acquainted with them, because I regard them 
as a misnomer. Those valuable papers treat of the Sub-Hima- 
layan dialects, which are styled ' Tamulian ' by Mr. Hodgson, 


but which might as properly, or improperly, have been styled 
by any other foreign name; and though they throw much light 
on the languages, the physiology, and the inter-relationship of 
the aborigines of the north-eastern frontier of India, they leave 
the Dravidian or Tamilian languages, properly so called, wholly 

From the commencement of my Tamil studies I felt inte- 
rested also in another question — that of the ulterior relationship 
of the Dravidian family of languages; and before I was aware 
of the opinion which Professpr Rask, o f Copenhagen, was the 
first to express, and which has generally been adopted, I arrived 
by a somewhat similar process, at the same conclusion, viz., 
that the DrS,vidian languages are to be affiliated, not with 
the Indo-European, but with the Scythian group of tongues, 
and that the Scythian family to which they appear to be most 
closely allied is the Finnish or Ugrian. 

General statements of the Scythian relationship of the Pro- 
vidian languages, with a few grammatical illustrations, occupy 
a place in Prichard's valuable ' Researches,' and have been 
repeated in more recent works on Comparative Philology; but as 
Prichard himself did not feel satisfied with general statements, 
impressions, and probabilites, and wished to see the problem 
solved, and as I was convinced that it never could be definitively 
solved without previously ascertaining, by a careful inter- com- 
parison of dialects, what were the most ancient grammatical 
forms and the most essential characteristics of the Dravidian 
languages, I found myself under the necessity of working out 
the entire subject for myself. 

It was not till I had finished this work, and commenced to 
prepare to carry it through the press, that I became acquainted 
with Professor Max Miiller's treatise, ' On the present state of 
our knowledge of the Turanian languages,' which is included in 
Bunsen's ' Outlines of the Philosophy of Universal History.' 

That treatise is the most comprehensive, lucid, and scholarly 
investigation of the general question which I have yet read; 
and I have been gratified to find not only that many of the 


conclusions at which the author of that treatise has arrived, but 
that many of his proofs and illustrations also, are identical 
with my own. 

Notwithstanding our general agreement with respect to the 
Dr^vidian grammatical system, and especially with respect to 
its Ugrian affinities, I have not found the following work fore- 
stalled by the Professor's. His work is generic, mine specific. 
His is an admirable survey of the entire field; but he does not 
profess to cultivate thoroughly any one portion of the field, or 
even to prepare it for cultivation. He does not occupy himself 
in clearing away the stones, breaking up the fallow ground, 
pulverising and analysing the soil, and turning up the sub-soil 
to the light. Occasionally, it is true, he enters into details; 
but though his conclusions are always correct, it is too evident 
that in dealing with details he furnishes an illustration of the 
principle for which, as he observes, Boehtlingk stands up, viz., 
that ' it is dangerous to write on languages of which we do not 
possess the most accurate knowledge.' Whilst the principal 
features of the Scythian relationship of the Drsividian tongues 
are strongly marked, and whilst their grammatical principles 
and syntactic arrangement are of too peculiar a nature to be 
mistaken, there is much in the phonic system of these languages, 
in their dialectic interchanges and displacements, in their declen- 
sional and conjugational forms, and especially in the nature, 
uses, and changes of their formative particles, which cannot be 
understood without special study. 

Dr^vidian philology has recently attracted the attention of 
another writer. Dr. Logan, whose elaborate contributions to the 
ethnology of Eastern Asia, and of the eastern islands, form the 
most valuable papers in the Journal of the Indian Archipelago. 
That writer's ethnological learning and philological acuteness 
are very great, and some of his conjectures are remarkably 
happy; but he is too fond of speculation, and not a few of his 
generalisations and speculations respecting the forms and pho- 
nology of the Dr^vidian languages, are far a-head of his facts. 

Notwithstanding, therefore, the intrinsic general value of 


the researches of Drs. Stevenson, Max Miiller, and Logan, a 
work like the following still appears to be required. The Dr^- 
vidian languages still require to he compared and their relation- 
ship to other languages investigated by some one who has made 
them his special study for an adequate space of time. 

Though I trust that the following work will help to supply 
this desideratum, yet it only professes to be a contribution 
towards the accomplishment of the object in view. I have 
laboured to be accurate throughout — and in a work of this kind 
accuracy cannot be attained without immense labour ; but not- 
withstanding my endeavours to be accurate, I am conscious of 
the existence of many defects. I trust, however, it will be 
remembered that this is the only systematic treatise on this 
subject which has yet appeared ; that in a first work on a new 
subject errors are almost unavoidable ; and that, whatever be 
the defects of this work, it has at all events smoothed the way 
for those who may hereafter be disposed to investigate the sub- 
ject more deeply. 

During the period of my residence in India the work in 
which I was engaged as a Missionary was of too important a 
nature to allow me to spend much of my time in book-making. 
It was necessary for me to be content with jotting down occa- 
sionally a few notes and illustrations, and working out conclu- 
sions in my mind. Since my return to this country for a 
season, I have taken the opportunity of putting together the 
notes which I had collected, and moulding them into a syste- 
matic shape ; and the result is now published, in the hope that 
this work will help to supply a want which I had long felt 
myself, and which must, I conceived, have been felt by many 
others. I trust it will be found to contribute to a more 
enlarged and scientific study of each of the Dravidian languages, 
to a more afccurate knowledge of their structure and vital spirit,, 
and to a higher estimate of their phonic beauty, their philoso- 
phical organization, and their unequalled regularity. 

During the period which has elapsed since the commence- 
ment of this work, a period of a year and ten months, it has 


been my lot to visit two hundred and fifty diflfereut parishes in 
various parts of England, and to deliver about three hundred 
and fifty lectures and addresses on India and Indian Missions. 
It may therefore be concluded that the composition and prepa- 
ration for the press of a work of so laborious a nature, in addi- 
tion to the duties of a ' deputation,' have not left much scope 
for the relaxation and rest which form the usual adjuncts of a 
' furlough ;' nevertheless, if the ulterior object which I have had 
in view should in any measure be accomplished — if in facilitating 
a more comprehensive study of the Providian languages by those 
Missionaries and East India Company's Civilians who make use 
of them as instruments of thought or as vehicles of expression, 
the welfare of the Dravidian people should in any manner, 
however indirectly, or in any degree, however small, be pro- 
moted — I shall have my reward. 

I beg leave thankfully to acknowledge the facilities which 
have been afi'orded for the publication of this work by the kind- 
ness of the Honourable Court of Directors of the East India 
Company, in subscribing for a hundred copies, and of the 
Madras, Ceylon, and Bombay Governments, in subscribing for 
a hundred and twelve. 

R. Caldwell. 

Office of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 
79, Pall Mall, London, June 2nd, 1856. 



It is the object of the following work to examine and compare 
the grammatical principles and forms of the various Dravidian lan-i 
guages, in the hope of contributing to a more thorough knowledge off 
their primitive structure and distinctive character. In pursuing this 
object, it will be the writer's endeavour to ascertain the relation which 
this family of languages bears to the principal families or groups into 
which the languages of Europe and Asia have been divided. 

Whilst the grammatical structure of each Dravidian language and 
dialect will be investigated and illustrated in a greater or less degree, 
in proportion to its importance and to the writer's acquaintance with 
it, it will be his special and constant aim to throw light upon the 
structure of the Tamil — a language which he has for seventeen years 
studied and used in the prosecution of his missionary labours, and 
which is undoubtedly the oldest, richest, and most highly organized, 
of the Dravidian languages, — in many respects the representative lan- 
guage of the family. 

The idioms which are included in this work under the general 
term ' Dravidian,' constitute the vernacular speech of the great 
majority of the inhabitants of Southern India. With the exception 
of Orissa and those districts of Western India and the Dekhan in 
which the Gujarathi and the Marathi are spoken, the whole of the 
peninsular portion of India, from the Vindhya mountains and the 
river Nerbudda (Narmada) to Cape Comorin, is peopled, and from 


the earliest period appears to have been peopled, by different branches 
of one and the same race, speaking different dialects of one and the 
same lanj^uage — the language to which the term ' Dravidian' is here 
applied; and scattered off-shoots from the same stem may be traced 
still farther north as far as the Rajmahal hills, and even as far as the 
mountain fastnesses of Beluchistan. 

The GujarHthi, the IVIarathi (with its off-shoot the Konkani), and 
the Uriya, or language of Orissa, idioms which are derived in the 
main from the decomposition of the Sanscrit, form the vernacular 
speech of the Hindu population within their respective limits : besides 
which, and besides the Dravidian languages, various idioms which 
cannot be termed indigenous or vernacular are spoken or occasionally 
used by particular classes resident in Peninsular India. 

Sanscrit, though it never was the vernacular language of any 
district of country in the South, is in every district read and to some 
extent understood by the majority of the Brahmans, — the descendants 
of those Brahraanical colonists of early times to whom the Dra- 
vidians are indebted for the higher arts of life and the first elements 
of literary culture. Such of the Brahmans as not only retain the 
name, but also discharge the functions of the priesthood, and devote 
themselves to professional studies, are generally able to converse in 
Sanscrit, though the vernacular language of the district in which they 
reside is that which they use in their families and with which they 
are most familiar. They are styled, with reference to the language 
of their adopted district, Dravida Brahmans, Kerala Brahmans, 
Karnataka Brahmans, &o.; and the Brahmans of the several language- 
districts have virtually become distinct castes ; but they are all 
undoubtedly descended from one and the same stock ; and Sanscpit, 
though now regarded only as an accomplishment or as a professional 
acquirement, is properly their ancestral tongue. 

Hindustani is the distinctive, hereditary language of the Mahom- 
medan portion of the population in the Dekhan and the southern 
peninsula, — the descendants of those warlike Mahommedans from 
northern India by whom the Peninsula was overrun some centuries 
ago. It may be regarded as the vernacular language in some parts 
of the Hyderabad country; but generally throughout Southern India, 
the middle and lower classes of the Mahommedans, who constitute 
the majority, make as much use of the language of the district in 
which they reside as of their ancestral tongue, and many of them are 
now unable to put a single sentence together in Hindustani. 

Hebrew is used by the small but interesting colony of Jews resi- 
dent in Cochin and the neighbourhood, in the same manner and for the 


same purposes as Sanscrit is used by the Brahmans. Gujarathi and 
Maratlii are spoken by the Gujarathi bankers and the Parsi shop- 
keepers who reside in the principal towns in the Peninsula : the 
mixed race of ' country-born ' Portuguese are rapidly forgetting 
(except in the territory of Goa itself) the corrupt Portuguese which 
their fathers and mothers were accustomed to speak, and learning 
English instead • whilst French still retains its place as the language 
of the French employes and their descendants in the settlements of 
Pondicherry, Karikal, and Make, which still belong to France. 

Throughout the territories of the East India Company, English is 
not only the language of the governing race and of its ' East-Indian' 
or ' Indo-British ' off-shoot, but is also used to a considerable extent 
by the natives «f the country in the administration of justice and in 
commerce ; and in the presidency of Madras and the principal towns, 
it is daily winning its way to the position which was formerly occu- 
pied by Sanscrit, as the vehicle of all higher learning. 

Neither the English, however, nor any other foreign tongue, has 
the slightest chance of becoming the vernacular speech of any portion 
of the inhabitants of Southern India. The indigenous Dravidian 
languages, which have maintained their ground for more than two 
thousand years against Sanscrit, the language of a numerous, powerful, 
and venerated sacerdotal race, may be expected successfully to resist 
the encroachments of every other tongue.* 

* I admit with Sir Erskine Perry (see his valuable paper in the Journal of 
the Royal Asiatic Society), that English, the language of the governing race, 
should be employed as the language of public business in every part of Britiah 
India ; and I am certain that this end could be attained in a very short time by 
simply requiring every eandidate for government employment, from the highest 
to the lowest, to pass an examination in English. The natives would everywhere 
adapt themselves to this arrangement, not only without reluctance, but with 
alacrity and pleasure ; and English schools and other facilities for the acquisition 
of English would multiply apace, as soon as it was found that the new rule eould 
not be evaded. I do not think, however, that English can ever become the 
vernacular language of any class of the Hindus, nor even that it is likely to be 
used to any considerable extent as a lingua franca beyond the circle of govern- 
ment employes. Before we can reasonably anticipate the employment of English 
as a conventional language, like Latin in the middle ages, or French in the more 
modem period, the number of the English resident in India should bear a much 
larger proportion to the mass of the inhabitants. That proportion is at present 
infinitesimally small : e. g, the population of the two CoUectorates, or provinces, 
in Southern India with which I am best acquainted — Tinnevelly and Madura, 
amounts in round numbers to three millions ; the number of Englishmen (and 
Americans) resident in those two provinces is considerably under a hundred and 
fifty t and that number includes the judges and magistrates who administer justice 
in those provinces, the ofl5cerg of a single regiment of sepoys, the men belonging 
to a small detachment of foot artillery, a few cotton planters and merchants, and 
the missionaries belonging to three missionary societies i Including women and 
children, the number is about three hundred, with which handful of English 
people we have to contrast three millions of Hindus ! 

B 2 


Enumeration op Dravidian Languages. 

The idioms which 1 designate as ' Dravidian/ are nine in numbef, 
exclusive of the Rajmahal, the Uraon, and the Brahui. They are as 
follows : — 

1. The Tamil, by the earlier Europeans erroneously termed 'the 
Malabar.'* The proper spelling of the name is ' Tamir;' but through 
the dialectic changes of r into 1, it is commonly pronounced Tamil, 
and is often erroneously written ' Tamul' by Europeans. This 
language being the earliest cultivated of all the Dravidian idioms, 
the most copious, and that which contains the largest portion and the 
richest variety of indubitably ancient forms, it is deservedly placed at 
the head of the list. It includes two dialects, the classical and the 
colloquial, or the ancient and the modern, called respectively the 
' Shen-Tamil ' and the ' Kodun-Tamil,' which differ one from the other 
so widely that they might almost be regarded as different languages. 
The Tamil language is spoken throughout the vast plain of the 
Carnatic, or country below the Ghauts, from Pulicat to Cape Como- 
rin, and from the Ghauts, or central mountain range of Southern 
India, to the Bay of Bengal. It is also spoken in the southern part 
of the Travancore country on the western side of the Ghauts, from 
Cape Comorin to the neighbourhood of Trivandrum; and in the 
northern and north-western parts of Ceylon, where Tamilians com- 
menced to form settlements prior even to the Christian era, and from 
whence they have gradually thrust out the Singhalese. All throughout 
Ceylon the coolies in the coffee plantations are Tamilians ; the 
majority of the money-making classes even in Colombo are Tamilians ; 
and ere long the Tamilians will have excluded the Singhalese from 
almost every office of profit and trust in their own island. The 
majority of the domestic servants of Europeans and of the camp- 
followers in every part of the presidency of Madras being Tamil 
people, Tamil is the prevailing language in all military cantonments 
in Southern India, whatever be the vernacular language of the district. 
Hence, at Cannanore in the Malayala country, at Bangalore iu the 
Canarese country, at Bellary in the Telugu country, and at Secunder- 
abad, where Hindustani may be considered as the vernacular, the 

* It is singular that so able and accurate a scholar as Dr. Max Muller should 
have supposed the Malabar to be a different language from the Tamil : nor did 
he confound it, as would have been natural enough, with the MalayMam, for he 
gives a distinct place (especially in his 'list of pronouns') to each of the 
Di'Slvldiaa dialects which actually exist, including the Malay&lam, and thereto he 
adds the Malabar, on the authority, I presume, of some grammar of the last 
century, in which the Tamil was called by that name. 


language which most frequently meets the ear in the bazaars is the 

The majority of the Klings (' Kalingas'), or Hindus, who are found 
in Pegu, Penang, Singapore, and other places in the further east, are 
Tamilians : the coolies who have emigrated in such numbers to the 
Mauritius and to the West Indian colonies are mostly Tamilians : in 
short, wherever money is to be made, wherever a more apathetic or a 
more aristocratic people is waiting to be pushed aside, there swarm 
the Tamilians, the Greeks or Scotch of the east, the least scrupulous 
and superstitious, and the most enterprising and persevering race of 

Including Tamilians resident in military stations and distant 
colonies, and the Tamilian inhabitants of South Travancore, and 
Northern Ceylon, and excluding not only Mahommedans, &c., but 
also Brahmans and people of Telugu origin who are resident in the 
Tamil country, and who form at least ten per cent, of the whole 
population, the people who speak the Tamil language may be esti- 
mated at about ten millions. 

2. The Telugu, in respect of antiquity of culture and glossarial 
copiousness, ranks next to the Tamil in the list of Drdvidian idioms; 
but in point of euphonic sweetness it claims to occupy the first place. 
The Telugu, called also the Telingu, or Telungu (nasalised from Telugu), 
is the ' Andhra' of Sanscrit writers, a name mentioned by the Greek 
geographers as the name of a nation dwelling on or near the Ganges. 
This language was sometimes called by the Europeans of the last 
generation the ' Gentoo,' from the Portuguese word for heathens, or 
' Gentiles.' The Telugu is spoken all along the eastern coast of the 
Peninsula, from the neighbourhood of Pulicat, where it supersedes the 
Tamil, to Chicacole, where it begins to yield to the Uriya j and inland 
it prevails as far as the eastern boundary of the Maifatha country and 
the Mysore ; including within its range the ' Ceded districts ' and 
Kurnool, the greater part of the territories of the Nizam, or the 
Hyderabad country, and a portion of the Nagpore country and Gond- 
wana. Formerly Telugu appears to have been spoken as iar north as 
the mouths of the Ganges. This appears both from the geographical 
limits which are assigned by the Greeks to the territory of the Andhras, 
or northern Telugus, and from many of the names of places mentioned 
by Ptolemy as far as the mouths of the Ganges being found to be 
Telugu. The Telugu people, though not the most enterprising or 
migratory, are undoubtedly the most numerous branch of the Dravidian 
race. Including the Naiks or Naidoos (' NHyakas'), Roddies, and other 
Telugu tribes settled in the Tamil country, who are chiefly the 


descendants of those soldiers of fortune by whom the P^ndiya and 
Chola kingdoms were subverted, and who number not much less ihan 
a million of souls; and including also the Telugu settlers in Mysore 
and the indigenous Telugu inhabitants of the Nizam's territory and 
other native states, the people who speak the Telugu language may be 
estimated as amounting to at least fourteen millions. 

3. The next place is occupied by the Canarese, properly the 
Kannadi, or Karn^taka,* which is spoken throughout the plateau of 
Mysore and in some of the western districts of the Niaam's territory, 
as far north as Beder : it is spoken, also, (together with the Malayilam, 
the Tuluva, and the Konkani, but more extensively than any of them) 
in the district of Canara, on the Malabar coast, a district which 
originally constituted the Tuluva country, but which was subjected 
for centuries to the rule of Canarese princes, and hence acquired the 
name by which it is at present known. Under the denomination of 
Canarese many include the Coorg or Kodaga, an idiom which is spoken 
by the inhabitants of the small principality of Coorg on the Western 
Ghauts, and which has generally been considered rather as an ancient 
and uncultivated dialect of the Canarese, modified by the Tuln, than 
as a distinct language. The Rev. Mr. Mogling, a German missionary, 
who has recently settled amongst the Coorgs, and who is our only 
reliable authority on the subject of their language, now states that 
Coorg is more closely allied to the Tamil and Malayala than to the 
Canarese. The speech of the Badagars ('people from the north'), 

• ' Kam3,taka ' is not a IM.vidian, but a Sanscrit word, and is properly 3 
generic name for both Telugu and Canarese. It is defined to mean primarily ' a 
species of dramatic music,' or ' comedy :' it is used secondarily in Telugu as an 
adjective to signify 'native,' 'aboriginal,' e.g. ' Karn&taka mfilam,' Tel. 'native 
music ;' it then became the common designation of the Telugu and Canarese, or 
'native' languages: and, finally, was restricted still further, and became the 
distinctive appellation of the Canarese alone. 

I should not have used the word ' finally,' for ' KarnS,taka' has now got into 
the hands of foreigners, who hare given it a new and more erroneous application. 

When the Mahommedans arrived in southern India, they found that part of it 
with which they become first acquainted — the country above the Ghauts, including 
Mysore and t)art of Telinga,ua— called ' the Kamtoka country.' In course of time, 
by a misapplication of terms, they applied the same name, ' the Karn&tak,' or 
' Camatic,' to designate the country below the Ghauts, as well as that which was 
above. The English have carried the misapplication a step further and restricted 
the name to the country below the Ghauts, which has no right to it whatever. 
Hence the Mysore country, which is properly the Camatic, is no longer called by 
that name by the English, and what is now geographically termed ' the Carnatic ' 
is exclusively the country below the Ghauts, on the Coromandel coast, including 
the whole of the Tamil country and the district of Nellore in the 'Telugu country. 

The word ' Karnfttalra ' was further corrupted by the Canarese people 
themselves into 'Kannada' or 'Kannara;' from which the language is styled 
' Kannadi,' and by the English, ' Canarese.' A province on the Malabar coast is 
called ' Canara,' properly ' Kannadiyam,' in consequence of having long been 
subjected to the government of KarnMaka princes. 


commonly called Burghers, the most numerous class of people inhabiting 
the Nilgherry hills, is undoubtedly an ancient Canarese dialect. The 
Canarese, properly so called, includes, like the Tamil, two cultivated 
dialects, the ancient and the modern ; of which the former differs from 
the latter, not — as classical Telugu and Malay&lam differ from the 
colloquial dialects of those languages — by containing a larger infusion 
of Sanscrit derivatives, but by the use of different inflexional termina- 
tions. The dialect called 'Ancient Canarese' is not to be confounded 
with the character which is denoted by that name, and which is found 
in many very ancient inscriptions in the Maratha country as well as in 
Mysore. The language of all really ancient inscriptions in the ' Hala 
Kannada,' or Ancient Canarese character, is Sanscrit, not Canarese. 

The people that speak the Canarese language, including the 
Coorgs, &c., may be estimated at five millions : but, in the case of both 
the Canarese and the Telugu, the absence of a trustworthy census of 
■ the inhabitants of native states, requires all such estimates to be con- 
sidered as mere approximations. In the Nizam's territory four 
languages — the Canarese, the Mara^hi, the Telugu, and the Hindustani 
— are spoken by different classes or in different districts; but it is 
impossible to ascertain the proportionate prevalence of each with any 
degree of certainty. 

4. The Malayalam, or ' Malayirma,' ranks next in order. This 
language is spoken along the Malabar coast, on the western side of the 
Ghauts, or ' Malaya ' range of mountains, from the vicinity of Man- 
galore, where it supersedes the Canarese and the Tulu, to Trivandrum, 
where it begins to be superseded by the Tamil. The people by whom 
this language is spoken in the native states of Travancore and Cochin, 
and in the East India Company's districts of Malabar and Canara, may 
be estimated at two and a half millions. All along the Malabar coast 
Tamil is rapidly gaining upon the Malayalam. Though that coast was 
for many ages more frequented by foreigners than any other part of 
India; though Phoenicians, Greeks, Jews, Syrian christians, and Arabs, 
traded in succession to the various ports along the coast j and though 
permanent settlements were formed by the three last classes ; yet the 
Malaysia people continue to be of all DrAvidiaus the most exclusive 
and superstitious, and shrink most sensitively from contact with 
foreigners. Hence 'the lines and centres of communication' have 
been seized, and the greater part of the commerce and public business 
of the Malabar states has been monopolized, by the less scrupulous and 
more adroit Tamilians, whose language bids fair to supersede the 
Malayalam, or at least to confine it within the limits of the hill-country 
and the jungles. 


5. Last in the list of cultivated DrUvidian tongues is the Tnlu, or 
Tuluva; an idiom holding a position midway between the Canarese 
and the Malayalam, but more nearly resembling the Canarese. This 
language was once generally prevalent in the district of Canara, but 
is now spoken only in a small tract of country in the vicinity of 
Mangalore, by not more than a hundred or a hundred and fifty 
thousand souls. It has been broken in upon by many other languages, 
and is likely soon to disappear. 

The four languages which follow differ from those that have been 
mentioned in that they are entirely uncultivated, destitute of written 
characters, and comparatively little known. 

6. The Toda, properly the Tuda, or Tudava ; the language of the 
Tudavars, a primitive and peculiarly interesting tribe inhabiting the 
Nilgherry hills, practising quasi-Druidical rites, and commonly believed 
to be the aboriginal inhabitants of those hills. Their number eould 
not at any time have exceeded a few thousands ; and at present, 
through opium-eating and polyandria, and through the prevalence 
amongst them at a former period of female infanticide, they do not, it 
is estimated, number more than from three to five hundred souls. 

7. The Kota ; the language of the Kotars, a small tribe of Helot 
craftsmen inhabiting the Nilgherry hills, and numbering about a 
thousand souls. The Tuda language may be considered as the indi- 
genous speech of the Nilgherries; the Kota as a very old and very 
rude dialect of the Canarese, which was carried thither by a persecuted 
low-caste tribe at some very remote period. Besides those two, two 
other languages are vernacular on the Nilgherry hills; viz., the dialect 
which is spoken by the Burghers or Badagars, an ancient but organized 
dialect of the Canarese, and the rude Tamil which is spoken by the 
Irulars {' people of the darkness ') and Curbs or Curnbars (Tam. 
' Kurumbar,' ' nomade shepherds '), who are occasionally stumbled 
upon by adventurous sportsmen in the denser, deeper jungles, and the 
smoke of whose fires may occasionally be seen rising from the lower 
gorges of the hills. 

8. The G6nd or Goand; the language of the indigenous inhabitants 
of the northern and western parts of the extensive hill country of 
Gondwana, of the northern portion of Nagpore and of the greater part 
of the Saugor and Nerbudda territories. 

9. The Khond, Kund, or more properly the Kn ; the language of 
the people who are commonly called Khonds, but who call themselves 
Kus — a primitive race, who are supposed to be allied to the Gonds • 
who inhabit the eastern parts of Gondwana, Goomsur, and the hilly 
ranges of Orissa ; and who have acquired a bad notoriety through their 


horrid practice of stealing the children of their neighbours and offering 
them up in sacrifice. • 

I am unable to form a probable estimate of the numbers of the 
people by whom the Gond and the Ku are spoken, I think, however, 
that they cannot safely be estimated under half a million of souls. 

The proportionate numbers of the several races by whom the 
languages and dialects mentioned above are spoken appear to be as 
follows :— 

1. Tamil 

2. Telugu .. 

3. Canarese 

. . 10,000,000 



4. Malayalam 

5. Tuln 

6. Tuda \ 


7. Kota 1 

8. Gond j ■ 


9. Ku / 


According to this estimate the Dravidian race numbers upwards of 
thirty-two millions of souls. There cannot be any doubt of their 
numbers amounting to at least thirty millions ; of whom about twenty 
millions are British subjects, and the remainder belong to the native 
states of Hyderabad, Nagpore,* Mysore, Travancore, and Cochin ; the 
gross population of which, including all races, is estimated at twenty 
millions, but is probably much greater. 

In this enumeration of the DrS,vidian languages I have not 
included the idioms of the Ramusies, the Korawars, the Lambadies, 
the Vedars, the Male-arasars, and various other wandering, predatory 
or forest tribes. The Limbadies, the Gipsies of the Peninsula, speak 
a dialect of the Hindustani ; the Ramusies and the majority of the 
Korawars, a patois of the Telugu ; the tribes inhabiting the hills and 
forests, corrupted dialects of the languages of the contiguous plains. 
None of these dialects is found to differ essentially from the speech of 
the more cultivated classes residing in the same neighbourhood. The 
Male-arasars, ' hill-kings ' (in Malayilam, Mala-araans), the hill tribe 
inhabiting the southern Ghauts, speak corrupt Malayalam in the 
northern part of the range, where the Malaydlam is the prevailing 
language, and corrupt Tamil in the southern, in the vicinity of 
Tamil-speaking districts. 

* Since the above was written Nagpore has been incorporated with the British 


In the above list of Dravidian languages I have not included the 
idioms of certain rude tribes of Central India and the north-eastern 
frontier, which have sometimes of late been included under the general 
term ' Tamulian.' I refer to the languages of the Kdls and Suras, 
the neighbours of the Gonds and Kunds towards the north, which 
might naturally be supposed to be allied to the Gond or the Ku, and 
consequently of Dravidian origin ; but which, though they contain a 
few Dravidian words, belong to a totally different family of languages. 
Without the evidence of similarity in grammatical structure, the 
discovery of a few similar words proves only local proximity, or the 
existence of mutual intercourse at an earlier or later period, — not the 
original relationship either of races or of languages. 

I leave also out of account the languages of the north-eastern 
frontier of India, which are spoken by the Bodos, Dhimals, and other 
tribes inhabiting the mountains and forests between Kumaon and 
Assam. These are styled ' Tamulian ' by Mr. Hodgson, of Nepaul, 
on the supposition that all the aborigines of India, as distinguished 
from the Aryans, or Sanscrit-speaking race and its offshoots, belong to 
one and the same stock; and that of this aboriginal race, the Tamilians 
of Southern India are to be considered as the best representatives. 
But as the relationship of those north-eastern idioms to the languages 
of the Dravidian family is a supposition which is unsupported by the 
evidence either of similarity in grammatical structure or of a similar 
vocabulary, and is founded only on such general grammatical ana- 
logies as are common to the whole range of the Scythian group of 
languages, it seems to me as improper to designate those dialects 
' Tamulian,' or ' Dravidian,' as it would be to designate them 
' Turkish' or ' Tungusian.' Possibly they form a link of connection 
between the Indo-Chinese, or Tibetan family of tongues, and the K61; 
but even this is at present a hazardous assumption. Prof. Max Miiller 
proposes to call all the Non-Aryan languages of India, including the 
Sub-Himalayan, the K61 and the Tamilian families, ' Nishada-lan- 
guages,' the ancient aborigines being often termed ' Nishadas ' in the 
Vedaic writings. Philologically I think the use of this common 
term is to be deprecated, inasmuch as the Dravidian languages are 
radically different from the others, as the Professor himself appears to 
have perceived. For the present I have no doubt that the safest 
common appellation is the negative one, ' Non-Aryan,' or ' Un- 

The brief vocabulary of the tribe inhabiting the Rajmahal hills in 
Central India, contained in the Asiatic Besearches, vol. v., and the 
fuller list of words belonging to the language of the same people, 


contained in Mr. Hodgson's collections, prove that tbe Rajmahal idiom 
is in the main Dravidian. The proof of this fact will be exhibited in 
the sequel. This language is not to be confounded with its neighbour, 
the speech of the SS,ntals, a branch of the extensive K61 family- 
inhabiting the Bhangalpore range of hills, whose language belongs to 
a totally different stock. 

The Brahui, the language of the mountaineers in the khanship of 
Kelat in Beluchistan, contains, not only some Dravidian words, but 
a considerable infusion of unquestionably Dravidian forms and idioms ; 
in consequence of which this language has a much better claim to be 
regarded as Dr&vidian or Tamulian than any of the languages of the 
Nipal and Bhutan frontier, which had been styled 'Tamulian' by 
Mr. Hodgson. I have not included, however, the Brahui, or the 
Rajmahal and Uraon, in the list of Drividian languages which are 
to be subjected to systematic comparison (though I shall give some 
account of them in the sequel, and shall refer to them occasionally for 
illustration), because the Dravidian element contained in those lan- 
guages bears but a small proportion to the rest of their component 

The Dravidian Idioms not merely Provincial Dialects op the 
SAME Language. 

Though I have described the nine vernacular idioms mentioned in 
the foregoing list as dialects of one and the same original Dra- 
vidian language, it would be erroneous to consider them as 'dialects' 
in the popular sense of the term, — viz., as provincial peculiarities or 
varieties of speech. Of all those idioms no two are so nearly related 
to each other that persons who speak them can be mutually under- 
stood. The most nearly related are the Tamil and the MalayS.lam ; 
and yet it is only the simplest and most direct sentences in the one 
language that are intelligible to those who speak only the other. 
Involved sentences in either language, abounding in verbal and 
nominal inflections, or in conditions and reasons, will be found by 
those who speak only the other language to be unintelligible. The 
Tamil, the Malay&lam, the Telugu, and the Canarese, have each a 
distinct and independent literary culture ; and each of the three 
former — the Tamil, the Malayilam, and the Telugu — has a system 
of witten characters peculiar to itself. The Canarese character has 
been borrowed from that of the Telugu, and differs bnt slightly from 
it ; but the Canarese language differs even more widely from the 
Telugu than it does from the Tamil ; and the ancient Canarese 
character is totally unconnected with the character of the Telugu. 


The Malayalam being, as I conceive, an ancient offshoot of the 
Tamil, differing from it chiefly by the disuse of the personal termina- 
tions of the verbs,* it might, perhaps, be regarded rather as a very 
ancient dialect of the Tamil than as a distinct language. Its separa- 
tion from Tamil evidently took place at a very early period, before 
the Tamil was cultivated and refined. Through the predominance of 
Brahraanical influence in the Malayala country, the Malayalam has 
not been cultivated ab intra to any considerable extent ; and the infu- 
sion into it of a large proportion of Sanscrit words is almost the only 
refinement which it has received. The proportion of Sanscrit words 
which has been adopted by the Dravidian languages is least in 
Tamil, most in Malayalam ; and the modern MalayMa character 
has been borrowed with but little alteration from the Grantham — 
the character in which Sanscrit is written in the Tamil country, 
and which corresponds to the Deva-nagari of Northern India. In 
consequence of these things, the difference between the Tamil and 
the Malayalam, though originally slight, has progressively increased ; 
and hence the claim of the Malay&lam to be considered, not merely as 
a dialect of the Tamil, but as a sister language, or at least as a very 
ancient and much altered offshoot, cannot now be called in question. 

The Tulu has been represented by Mr. Ellis as a dialect of the 
Malay^am ; but although Malayala characters are ordinarily employed 
in writing Tulu, in consequence of the prevalence of Malayalam in 
the vicinity, and the literary inferiority of the Tulus, it appears to me 
capable of the clearest proof that the relation of the Tulu to the 
Canarese is nearer than its relation to the Malayalam. It differs 

* The derivation of the Malayalam from the Tamil is well illustrated by the 
word which is caed by it to signify ' East.' It is 'Kirakka,' meaning 'beneath,' 
or ' downwards," which is properly a Tamil word, and corresponds to that which 
is used to denote 'West,' — viz., 'MeKku,' 'above' or 'upwards;' both of which 
words necessarily originated in the Tamil country, or the country on the eastern 
side of the Ghauts ; where a lofty range of mountains rises everywhere to the 
westward, and where, consequently to go westward is to go 'upwards;' whilst 
to the eastward the country slopes 'downwards' to the sea. The configuration 
of the Malaysia country is directly and strikingly the reverse of this,— the moun- 
tain range being to the eastward, and the sea to the westward. Notwithstanding 
this, the Malaysia word for 'East' is 'Kirakka, "downwards,' identical with 
the Tamil word ' Eirakku,'— a clear proof that the Malayalam is an ofishoot from 
the Tamil, and that the people by whom it is spoken were originally a colony of 
Tamilians. It is evident that they entered the Malaysia country through the 
Paul ghaut Gap, and from thence spread themselves along the coast, northward 
to Mangalore, and southward to Trivandrum. Throughout the Malay&la gram- 
mar I have noticed only two forms which are not contained either in the collo- 
quial or in the high dialect of the Tamil: those two forms are a dative in 'a' 
which is used in some instances after ' n,' instead of the more usual sign of the 
dative, 'kka;' and a plural sufSx of the second person of the imperative —viz. 
'in;' which is peculiar to this language,— except, indeed, it is derived from the 
high Tamil 'min.' 


widely and essentially from the Tamil j and hence the tradition which is 
mentioned by Mr. Taylor, that the ancient ' Kurumbars,' or ' nomadic 
shepherds,' in the neighbourhood of Madras were expelled and their 
lands seized upon by Vellalars from Tulnva, appears to be highly 
improbable. The colloqjiial Tamil of the neighbourhood of Madras is 
characterized by an infusion of the peculiarities, not of the Tulu, but 
of the Telngu. 

Of the five cultivated Dravidlan dialects mentioned above — the 
Tamil, the Telugu, the Canarese, the Malaysia, the Tulu,— the farthest 
removed from each other are the Tamil and the Telugu. The great 
majority of the roots in both languages are, it is true, identical ; but 
they are often so disguised in composition by peculiarities of inflexion 
and dialectic changes, that not one entire sentence in the one language 
is intelligible to those who are acquainted only with the other. The 
various Uravidian idioms, though sprung from a common origin, are 
therefore, to be considered not as mere provincial dialects of the same 
speech, but as distinct though affiliated languages. They are as 
distinct one from the other as the Spanish from the Portuguese, the 
Irish from the Welsh, the Hebrew from the Aramaic, the Hindi from 
the Bengali. If the cultivated Dravidian idioms differ so materially 
from each other, it will naturally be supposed that the uncultivated 
idioms — the Tuda, the Kota, the Gond, and the Ku — must differ still 
more widely both from one another and from the cultivated languages. 
This supposition is in accordance with facts. So many and great are 
the differences and peculiarities which are observable amongst these 
rude dialects, that it has seemed to me to be necessary to prove, not 
that they differ, but that they belong, notwithstanding their differ- 
ences, to the same stock as the more cultivated tongues, and that they 
have an equal right to be termed ' Dravidian.' 

Evidence that the Tuda, Kota, Gond, and Ku, are really 
DrAvidian Tongues. 

It is unnecessary to state in this general introduction, the parti- 
culars in which the cultivated Dravidian idioms agree with one another, 
and the evidences of their essential unity even in minor matters and 
of their common origin : but the Tuda, Kota, Gond, and Ku being 
rude uncultivated dialects, and little known, it appears to be desirable 
at the outset to furnish the reader with proofs of the assertion that 
those languages belong to the same Dravidian stock as the Tamil and 
the Telngu. Their Drividian character and connections will appear 
from the following statement of particulars, which I have ascertained 
concerning each of them respectively. 



(1.) TuDA. — It is a favourite opinion with many persona in India that the 
language of the Tudara is altogether sui generis, or at least that it is unconnected 
with any of the languages of the DrS,yidian races of the neighbouring plains. In 
adopting the conclusion that the Tuda language belongs to the Drftvidian stock, 
and justly claims to be regarded as a Drividian dialect, the evidence on which 
I place most reliance is that of a list of words and short sentences which was 
kindly communicated to me by the Rev. Mr. Metz, German missionary at Kaity, 
on the Nilgherry hills. Mr. Metz's acquaintance with the language of the Tudars, 
is believed to be more accurate than that which has been acquired by any other 
European ; and though his knowledge is confessedly defective in the department 
of verbal modifications and syntax, his list of vocables may be fully depended 
upon : and inasmuch as his knowledge of the Tuda has been acquired through 
the medium of the language of the Badagars, a language with which he is inti- 
mately acquainted, it cannot be supposed in his case (as was supposed by some 
persons with respect to the Eev. Dr. Schmid's inquiries), that he may have 
accepted Badaga words for Tuda, through ignorance of the dialectic peculiarities 
of the old Canarese idiom which is spoken by the Badagars. 

The following words — 'prerogative instances,' as they would be called by 
Abel Eemnsat — prove the Dj^vidian character of the Tuda language. 


High Tamil, &c. 



yfln ; tm., Ancient Can. 



yto, 6m 






nlm, Ancient Can. 







he (proximate) 



they (ditto) 



he (remote) 



they (ditto) 





mMu, Tel. 













a person 








awa, 'grand-mother' in Tel. 












kan, kannu 






kevi. Can. 












irul, ' darkness ' in Tamil 






nippu, Tel. 

* In the Tuda langxiage i is pronounced broad like ato in "fawn." 


The Tuda words given above scarcely at all differ from their Tamil, Canarese, 
and Telngu equivalents. In many cases, however, the word, though undoubtedly 
Dra,vidian, can scarcely be recognised in its Tuda shape. The following are 
examples of this : — 

Tamil, &c. Tuda. 

tooth pal parsh 

tiger puli, pili pirah 

Bun, or sunlight veyil birsh 

finger viral bolh 

belly vayaru bir 

fruit param vom 

In the above examples the regular change of I into rsh is especially deserving 
of notice. 

In some cases the Tuda words correspond to the Telugu rather than the 
Tamil, e. g. 

Tamil. Tblugh Tuda. 

tree maram m^nu maena 

fire nernppu nippu nebbu 

Sometimes the Tuda corresponds with the Canarese, rather than with either 
the Telugu or the Tamil, e. g. 

Tamil. Telugu. Canarese. Tuda. 

small s'inna chinna kinna kin 

ear s'evi chevi kevi kevi 

The Tuda generally agrees more exactly with the Tamil than with the Telugu, 
the Canarese, or any other Dr^vidian idiom. In many particulars so close is this 
agreement that the Tuda might be considered as merely a corrupt patois of the 
Tamil, were it not that in a still larger number of instances it differs, not only from 
the Tamil, but also from every other Dr^vidian dialect, pursuing a course of its own 
with a vocabulary of its own ; in consequence of which it must be regarded as a 
distinct member of the family. On an examination of the Tuda words contained 
in the lists in my possession, exclusive of pronouns and numerals (which are 
throughout Dr^vidian), forty per cent, are found to be allied to Dr^vidian words 
belonging to the language^ of the adjacent plains, whilst sixty per cent, appear 
to be either independent of those languages or to be so greatly corrupted and 
disguised that their relationship cannot now be ascertained. 

The following comparison of the forms of the present and future tenses of 
the substantive verb in Tuda with those of the Tamil will illustrate the verbal 
inflexions of this language. The root of the substantive verb in Tamil and in 
Canarese is ' ir.' In Tuda the corresponding root is ' erg,' ' etara,' or ' esh.' 

I am 
thou art 
he is 

we are 
ye are 
they are 



y^u imkkirfin 
ni irukkirM 
avan imkkir^n 

^n eshken 
nl etersbi 
avan etarji 

yim irukkirdm 
nir irukkirir 
avar irukkirir 

^m etarsbimi 
nima etarshi 
avar etarshi 




I shall be 

y&a iruppSn 

ftn ersbini 

thou wilt be 

nl iruppai 

ni ersbi 

he will be 

avan iruppan 

avan ersje 

we shall be 

y&jD. iruppdm 

am ersbimi 

ye will be 

nlr inipplr 

nima ereshi 

they will be 

avar iruppSlr 

avar ersshi 

It is evident that the third person singular and plural of each of the Tuda 
tenses is destitute of personal terminations. This is in accordance in part with 
the usage of the Canarese, and still more with that of the Telugu. 

The Tuda language contains exceedingly few words of Sanscrit origin, and 
those few have evidently been derived from the intercourse of the Tudars with 
their neighbours the Badagars, colonists from the Canarese country, — e. g., 
'der,' God, from the Canarese 'd6var,' and the Sanscrit 'dfiva;' and 'budi,' 
wisdom, from ' buddhi,' the Sanscrit word for wisdom adopted in the Canarese. 

The substantial agreement of the Tuda with the other Dr^vidian languages in 
ita pronouns, its numerals, the first and second persons of its verbal inflections, 
and in forty per cent, of its stock of ordinary vocables, proves beyond all doubt 
the propriety of considering it as a Drslvidian dialect ; and it seems scarcely less 
certain that of all the Dr9,vidian idioms the Tamil is that to which it is most 
nearly allied. Sixty per cent, of its words appear, indeed, to be unconnected 
with the vocabularies of the other dialects ; but those words are chiefly such as 
are remote from the daily business of life, and which are therefore of all words 
the most apt to become corrupted by a barbarous, isolated tribe. It is also to be 
remembered that each of the cultivated DrSlvidian languages contains a consider- 
able number of roots of this secondary, fleeting class, which are not found in any 
other dialect of the family. Such words do not necessarily belong to an Extra- 
Dr9,vidian source ; for no one language of any family whatever is in possession of 
all the roots which originally belonged to the parent stem. Each dialect of the 
Sanscrit, of the Classical, and of the Germanic families of tongues is found to have 
retained a certain number of roots which the other dialects have suflered to 
become obso'.ete. 

(2.) K6ta. Whilst the language and customs of the Tudars have always 
been regarded with peculiar interest, the K6tars (a tribe of craftsmen, residing 
from an unknown antiquity on the Nilgherry hills), being exceedingly filthy in 
their habits, and addicted beyond all other low caste tribes to the eating of 
carrion, have generally been shunned by Europeans ; and, in consequence, their 
language is less known than that of the Tudars. Notwithstanding this, the 
following paradigm of the K6ta pronouns and of the present tense of its verb, 
which was furnished me by the Eev. Mr. Biihler, of Eaity, will show that the 
language of this degraded tribe is essentially Dr8,vidiaa : — 

KoTA. Ancient Canabbsb. 

I go kae hdgabe &n pflgdap6u 

thou goest nl h6gabi ntn pfigdapi 

he goes awana h6gako avam pfigdapam 

■we go n^me hdgabemme fi,m p6gdap6vu 

ye go niye hflgabirri ntm pdgdapir 

they go awane hdgako avar p6gdapar 


In this paradigm the first person plural, both of the pronoun and of the verb, 
and the second person plural of the verb, accord most with the Tamil ; the other 
forms agree most with the Ancient Caranese, particularly the formative suffix of 
the present tense of the verb, which is 'dap' in Ancient Caranese, and 'ab' in 
the K6ta. In the use of 'h' instead of 'p' ('h6gu,' to go, instead of 'pagu'), the 
K6ta accords with the modem Caranese. The third person of the K6ta verb, 
which is formed, both in the singular and the plural, by the suffix ' ko,' seems 
at first sight entirely unconnected with all other Dr^vidian forms. If we 
consider it, however, not as a verb properly so called, but as an abstract verbal 
noun, which acquires the force of a verb from juxta-position with a pronoun, like 
the third person in the Persian verb, it may easily be brought within the range of 
Dr^vidian analogies; for many such verbal nouns in the other dialects end in 
'ke,' 'kei,' 'ka,' 'ge,' &c. The sign of the genitive case in K6ta is 'a,' of 
the dative, 'ke,' of the locative, 'olge,' — all which forms correspond with those 
which are found in the other dialects. The preterite is formed by changing 
'ka' or 'ga' into 'ji' or 'di;' — e.g., 'hfigako,' he goes; 'h6jiko,' he went: 
' tinkabe,' I eat; ' tindibe,' / ate. In this also we see a family resemblance to the 
manner in which the other dialects, especially the Telugu, form their preterites. 
The K8ta forms its infinitive by the addition of 'alik' to the root,— e. g., 'tin,' 
eat; 'tinalik,' to eat. The infinitives of the corresponding verb in Canarese 
are ' tiraia,' ' tinnalu,' ' tinnalike.' On the whole, tho\igh certain analogies with 
the Tamil and also with the Tulu may be observed in the K8ta, I regard this 
language as more nearly allied to the Canarese than to any other Dr^vidian idiom. 

3. The G6nd. — The very complete grammar and vocabulary of the Mahadeo 
dialect of the 68nd language, which was compiled by the Eev. Mr. Driberg, a 
late missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in the Sanger 
and Nerbudda country, and which was published at Bishop's College, Calcutta, 
in 1849, together with Dr. Manger's interesting paper on the dialect of the Saonee 
(Seoni) G6nds, including 'The Song of Sandsumjee,' in V[i& Journal of the Bengal 
Asiatic &)cie<^,— contain so many proofs of the close affinity of the G6nd 
language to the Tamil> the Telugu, and the Canarese, that it seems quite unne- 
cessary to prove in detail that it is a member of the DrS,vidian family. It is not 
so easy to determine to which of the cultivate^ Dr3.vidian dialects it is most 
nearly allied. In many respects it accords most with the Telugu, its neighbour 
to the South and East ; but on the whole, it is more closely allied to the Tamil, 
though locally of all Dr^vidian dialects the farthest removed from it— a proof 
that the claim of the Tamil to be considered as the best representative of the 
primitive condition of these languages is not destitute of foundation. 

The chief particulars in which the Gdnd agrees with the Telugu, rather than 
with the Tamil or with the Canarese, are as follows : — 

(1.) The pronouns of the first and second persons, especially the second 
person plural, have most resemblance to the Telugu. Compare 'mtk,' Gdnd, 
to you, Telugu, 'mtku,' with the Tamil 'umakku ' and the Canarese 'nimage.' 

( 2.) Another point of resemblance to the Telugu consists in the absence of a 
feminine form of the pronoun of the third person singular and of the third person 
of the verb, and the use of the neuter singular for the feminine singular. 

(3.) The Gdnd preterite verbal participle is formed, like the Telugu, by the 
addition of 'si' or 'ji' to the root, instead of the 'du' which is so largely 
employed by the Tamil and Canarese. 

(4.) A certain number of roots of secondary importance and a few Sanscrit 
derivatives seem to have been borrowed by the G6nd from the Telugu ;- e. g., 



■ nattur,' blood, from the Telugu, ' netturu,' a corrupt derivative from the 
Sanscrit, 'ractam.' 

In some instances again the G6nd agrees remarkably with the Canarese ; e. g., 
the G6nd ^infinitive is in ' Sllle/ or ' ille.' In Telugu and Tamil the infinitive is 
invariably in ' a : ' the Tamil has a verbal noun ending in ' al/ of which the dative 
is used as a supine ; and the High Tamil occasionally, but the Canarese ordinarily 
uses this very form 'al' as an infinitive. The G6nd also like the Canarese some- 
times prefers 'k' where the Telugu has 'ch' and the Tamel 's;' e. g., the ear, is 
in Tamil, 's'evi ;' Telugu, 'chevi;' Canarese, 'kevi;' in G8nd also, 'kaiivi.' To 
do, is in Tamil, 's'ejf;' Telugu, 'chSy ;' Canarese, 'g6y' (g hard); G6nd, 'ki.' 
Such agreements of the G6nd with the Canarese are rare ; but the particulars in 
which the Gflnd agrees with the Tamil, though the Telugu country lies between 
it and the country in which the Tamil is spoken, are very numerous and important. 
The following are specimens of this agreement. 

(1.) The Telugu has but one form for the plural of nouns substantive, the 
suflSx ' lu ;' the Tamil has two, ' ar ' and ' kal/ the former epicene, the latter 
neuter : the Gflnd also has two, 'ar ' and 'k.' 

(2.) The instrumental case of the Telugu is formed by the addition of ' ch6ta;' 
the Gflnd like the Tamil uses ' al.' 

(3.) The Gflnd diflTers from the Telugu, and accords with the Tamil in retaining 
unaltered the initial vowel of its pronouns in the oblique cases. Thus, from 'adi,' 
Telugu, i«, comes 'dSni,' of it; Tamil, 'adin,' of it; Gflnd, 'adena.' 

(4.) The Telugu negative particles are 'ledu,' there is not, a^i 'kMu,' it is 
not; the corresponding particles in Tamil are 'illei' and 'alia;' in Gflnd, 'hille' 
and 'halle.' 

(6.) The Telugu systematically uses 'd' instead of the Tamil vocalic 'r;' the 
Gflnd retains the 'r' of the Tamil; e. g., 'fldu' or 'adaln,' Telugu, to weep; 
Tamil 'ara." Gflnd 'ara.' So also compare 'fldu,' Telugu, seven, with Tamil 
' flru ' and Gflhd ' flro.' 

A considerable number of Gflnd roots denoting objects of primary importance 
correspond with the Tamil rather than the Telugu ; e. g. 

TELtiGu. Tamil. Gfliro. 

one okati oudru und 

three mftdu mflndru mund 

hand chfly kei kai 

tree m3,nu maram marri \ 

great pedda pern, paru paror 

to come vachcha (vatssa) vara wara 

In a large number of instances the Gflnd, though retaining the same roots as 
the other Drftvidian dialects, modifies those roots after a fashion peculiar to itself. 
This will appear on comparing the following Tamil and Gflnd words. 












to fall 



to fill 


















nto (a' village) 
pini (cold) 

Notwithstanding the affinities between the G6nd and the other Diividian 
dialects which have now been mentioned and illustrated, the 66nd possesses 
a large number of roots which are not found elsewhere, and exhibits peculiarities 
of grammatical structure of such a nature as amply to justify our regarding it as 
a distinct dialect. The difference existing between the Tamil and the Telugn 
sinks into insignificance when compared with the difference between the G&nd 
and every other dialect of the DrSividian family. In the list of G6nd words given 
by Mr. Driberg, I have been a^le to identify only thirty-four per cent, as words 
contained in or allied to those that are found in the other dialects, which is a 
smaller proportion than that which is contained even in the Tuda. 

The principal particulars in which the grammatical structure of the G6nd 
differs from that of the other dialects are as follows : — 

(1.) Like the idioms of Northern India, the Gdnd evinces a tendency to con- 
found the dative with the accusative, though in possession of both forms. 

(2.) It has a passive voice formed, as in some of those Northern idioms, by 
prefixing the past participle of the active voice to the substantive verb. 

(3.) The remote and proximate demonstratives (' ille,' ' hie,') which in 
Tamil are ' avar,' ' ivar ;' in Telugu ' TS,ru,' ' vlru ;' are in Goud corrupted into 
'wor' and 'yer.' 

(4.) The base of the interrogativ^e pronouns in all the other dialects is ' yS, ;' 
in this it is ' bS,,' or ' bo.' 

(5.) Instead of the regularly formed negative voice of the other dialects, the 
Gond forms its negative verbs by simply prefixing the negative particles ' hille,' 
or 'halle,' to the verb. For example, ihou art not, or thou becomesi not (in 
Tamil 'tgk^,' in Telugu, 'kS,vu'), is in G6nd 'halle aivi,' A similar use 
of the negative particle is found in the Kota language. The only thing in the 
other dialects which at all corresponds to this, is the occasional formation in 
poetical Tamil of a negative verb by the insertion of the negative particle ' al ' 
between the root of the verb and the pronominal suffix ; e. g., ' p6s-al-Sn,' / spejoJe 
not, for 'pte-6n.' 

(6.) The chief difference, however, in point of granlmatical structure between 
the G6nd and the other Drfividian dialects, consists in its peculiarly elaborate 
and complete conjugational system. The Tamil, the MalaySllam, the Canarese, and; 
the Tnlu possess only a present, an indefinite past, and a future tense, — the future 
more or less aoristic. The Telugu, in addition to these tensesj has a regularly 
formed aoiist. The indicative and the imperative are the only moods which these 
dialects possess, and they are destitute of a passive voice properly so called. All' 
modifications of mood and tense are formed by means either of auxiliary verbs or 
of suffixed particles. Whilst the more cultivated DrAvidian idioms are so simple 
in structure, the speech of the rude Mahadeo Gdnds boasts in a system of verbal 
modifications and inflexions almost as elaborate as that of the Turkish. It has a 
passive voiee: in addition to the indicative and the imperative moods, it possesses 
a potential : in the indicative mood, wtere the Tamil has only three tenses, it 
has a present, an imperfect definite, an indefinite past, a perfect, a conditional, 
and a future, each of which is regularly inflected : like the other idioms, it has a 
causal verb, but it stands alone in having also an inceptive. In these particulars 

c 2 


the G6nd grammar haa acquired a development pecnliar *« /t^^"' Pf ''^P^J" «°™^ 
degree through the ihfluence of the highly inflected S^ntM, iia KM neighbour to 

^''^"Tthe' Ku * The Kond, Khond, or Ku language, undoubtedly a Dra,vidian 
idiom', has generally been considered as identical with the G6nd. It was stated 
long ago by Captain Blunt in the Asiatic Researches, vol. vu on the authority 
of a native Jaghiredar, that the Gdnds and Khunds are totally distinct races : 
notwithstanding this, I have not met with any account of their langaages in which 
they have been regarded as different, though in truth their differences are 
numerous and essential. In many particulars the Ku accords more closely than 
the Gdnd with the Tamil, the Telugu and the other Dr^vidian tongues; m some 
things less so. For example :— , ,, ^ w *i, 

(1.) The G6nd forms its infinitive in ' alle,' or ' lUe ; the Ku, like the 
Telu<4 the Tamil, and the modem Canarese, forms its infinitive by suffijung 
'a,' s'ometimes 'va,' or 'pa.' Thus, to become, is in Gdnd 'aiffie;' in Telugu, 
'ka,;' in Canarese, 'Slgal,' or '9,ga;' in Tamil, 'a,ga,-' in Ku, '^va.' 

(2.) The Ku retains the simplicity of the conjugational ^stem of the other 
Drdvidian dialects, in contradistinction to the elaborateness of the G8nd. 

(3 ) The G6hd forms its negatives by prefixing to the indicative aorist the 
separate negative particles "hiUe," or "halle." In this point the Ku differe 
from the Gdnd, and agrees with the other dialects. Thus, / do not, is in G6nd 
•hille kion;' in Tamil 'seyydn;' in Telugu 'chSyanu;' in Canarese 'g^yenu,' 
in Ku ' gignu.' 

In the following instances the Ku accords more closely with the Tamil and 
Canarese, though locally very remote, than with its nearer neighbour the 

(1.) The Telugu forms its plurals by the use of 'lu' alone, except in some 
of the oblique forms of the 'rational' demonstratives. The Ku, like the Tamil, 
makes a difference between the plurals of nouns which denote rational beings, 
and those of nouns of the inferior class. The Tamil sufBx of the first class of 
plurals is ' ar,' of the second class ' kal :' the corresponding suffixes in Ku are 
' &ru ' or ' ru,' and ' k^.' 

(2.) The Telugu forms its masculine singular by means of the suffix ' du :' 
the Canarese and Tamil by ' anu'' and ' an.' The Ku by means of the suffix 
'S,flju' or '9,nyu.' Thus, compare 'v^du,' Telugu, he, with the Tamil 'avan,' 
Canarese ' avanu,' Ku ' avftfiju.' 

(3.) The Ku pronouns bear a closer resemblance to the Tamil and Canarese 
than to the Telugu and Gflnd, as will appear from the following comparative 

view : — 

Telugu. G6i<rD. Tamil. Canakese. Ku. 

I n6nu an^ ydu (ancient &n (ancient) 

^e mdmu amflt y&m (do.) Sim (do.) amu 

thou nlvu ima nt ntnu Inu 

ye mlru imat iiir nlvu Iru 

he, remote v9,du wor avan avanu avafiju 

he, proximate vldu yer ivan ivanu ivflflju 

* See a lucidly arranged grammar of this language prepared by Lingam 
Letchmajee, Deputy Translator to the Ganjam Agency, and published in Uriya 
characters in the Calcutta Ohristian Observer for May and June, 1853. I have 
not seen any notice in any scientific work or periodical of this valuable contribu- 
tion to our knowledge of the Indian languages. 


(d.) In the DrS; vidian languages contingency is expressed by the addition of a 
particle to any verbal tense, person or number. This suljjunctive suffix is in 
Telugu 'gni' or ' e ;' in Canarese 're,' ' rtl,' or 'ilgyu.' One of the suffixes 
employed in the Tamil is ' kkW,' which in the speech of the vulgar becomes 
' kka ;' and this very particle ' kkS.,' added, as in Tamil, to the preterite, is the , 
suffix by which the Ku also forms conditional or contingent verbs : e.g., If I do, 
is in Telugu ' n6nu chfeyudunfeni ;' in Canarese ' n3.uu gfiyidare ;' in colloquial 
Tamil this is 'n^a. cheyd^kkftj' in Eu also, (from the root 'gi,' to do), it is '^nu 

On the other hand, in the following particulars the G6nd agrees more closely 
with the Telugu than with the Tamil or Canarese. 

(1.) It uses the neuter singular to denote the feminine singular. 

(2.) The oblique cases or "inflexions" of the pronouns of the first and 
second persons, singular and plural, are identical with those of the Telugu. 

(3.) The case terminations of the Ku are nearly in accordance with those of the 

(4.) The pronominal signs suffixed to the Ku verbs accord on the whole better 
with the Telugu than with any other dialect : e.g., in Tamil the second and third 
persons plural end diflerently, the one ' Ir,' the other ' tx ;' in Telugu they end 
alike — both generally in 'aru;' in Ku also both these persons end alike in 'eru.' 

(5.) In Canarese all relative participles, including that of the negative verb, end 
in ' a ;' in Tamil all relative participles, with the exception of that of the future, 
have the same ending : in Telugu the relative participle of the indefinite or 
aoristic tense ends in ' edi,' or ' eti ;' and in the Ku also the relative past par- 
ticiple exhibits this ending. Thus, '8,na,' Tamil, that became; in Canarese, 'S,da;' 
in Telugu (indefinite tense), 'ayyfiti;' inKu the same form is 'dti.' 

The various particulars and illustrations which have now been mentioned prove 
the Ku to be totally distinct from the G6nd ; and though it is allied to it, it is 
allied only in the same manner as to the other Providian languages. In some 
points this language differs from all the other dialects of the family; for example, 
it forms its past verbal participles not by means of the suffixes 'du,' 'i,' or ' si,' 
the only suffixes known in the other dialects, but by suffixing to the root 'a,' • 
sometimes 'sh' or 'jS.,' after the manner of some of the languages of Northern 
India. In the other dialects of this family the negative verb possesses only one 
tense, an aorist; the Ku, in addition to this negative aorist, has also a negative 
preterite, — a decided advantage over the other dialects. The Ku suffixes of the 
present verbal participles are also different from those which are found in the other 
I)r4vidlan dialects. The formative suffix of the present verbal participle is in 
Telugu 'chu' or 'tu;' in the Canarese 'ta' or 'te;' in the Ku it is 'i' or 'pi.' 

The four dialects referred to aboye — the Tuda, Kota, Gond and 
Kn — though rude and uncultivated, are undoubtedly to be regarded 
as distinctively and essentially Dravidian dialects, equally with the 
Tamil and Telugu. In addition to these, there are two uncultivated 
idioms of Central India, the Urion and the Rajmahal, which contain 
so many Dravidian roots of primary importance that they may claim 
to be considered as originally members of the same family, though 
they contain also a large admixture of roots and forms belonging- 
to the K61 dialects. The Uraon is consfdered by Mr. Hodgson as a 



Connecting link between the K61 and the Rajmahal ; and the Rajma- 
hal as a connecting link between the K61 and the Tamulian families. 
The Rajmahal is more distinctively Dravidian than the Uraon, though 
the Males or aborigines of the Rajmahal or Male range by whom it is 
spoken, are locally more remote than the Uraons from the present 
seats of the Dravidian race. The K61s intervene between the Males 
and the Dr^vidians ; but whilst the Male is substantially a Dravidian 
tongue, the K61 belongs to a totally different family. 

In the list of Eijmahal or Male words giren by Mr. Hodgson, sixteen per cent, 
are purely Dr9.Tidian ; in the older list, given in the Asiatic Besearches, the Dr^ 
vidian roots form only ten per cent. In the Ur^on list the proportion of Dravidian 
roots is fourteen per cent. 

The principal and most essential analogies which I have noticed are as 
follows : — 



Tamil, &c. 











ch§yi (Tel.), kyS (Cnnar.) 



kadu, k61, to hear 










talei, head 











man-u (Tel.) 




pft ; ptlppu, u. flowering 












n6gu, to pain 




mfel, m61d 




klr, kSr§ 




ul, ull« 




nin, £n 




n!n (Can.) 

he, she, it 



ata (Can.), he, adu, itj adum, 
(Tuda), he, she, it 


nam, cm 


nam, dm 


nina (nim iii nimki, 

nlm (Can.) 


awar, asabar 















art, ort 


or, ondru 




rendu (Tel.), ranu (Qond.) 




mftuna (Malayal). 




naiku, n&nku 


Unfortunately the inflexions of the BSjmahal and Uraon nouns and verbs are 
not given in any of the lists, so that, with the exception of a few incidental parti- 
culars, the grammatical construction of these languages remains unknown. In 
the particulars that follow they accord with the Dr^vidian grammatical rules. 
The Eajmahal expresses the prepositions to, in, on, &c., by suffixes. Its dative 
suffix is 'ku:' 'm' is the sign of the plural number of the pronouns of the 
first and second persons, replacing ' n.' the corresponding sign of the singular ; 
' ar' is the sign of the plural of epicene pronouns of the third person. The sign 
of the possessive pronouns is ' ki,' or in the Ur^iOu ' ghi,' corresponding appa- 
rently to the 'k4,' 'kl/ of the Hindi, and more remotely to the 'yoka' of the 

The existence of a distinctively Dravidian element in these abori- 
ginal dialects of Central India being established, the Dravidian race 
can now be traced as far North as the banks of the Grans;es ; and the 
supposition (which was deduced from other considerations) that this 
race was diffused at an early period throughout India is confirmed. 
The Brahui, the language of the Beluchi mountaineers in the khanship 
of Kelat enables us to trace the Dravidian race beyond the Indus to 
the southern confines of Central Asia. Tbe Brahui language, con- 
sidered as a whole, is derived from the same source as the Panjabi and 
Sindhi ; but it unquestionably contains a Dravidian elerrient, an ele- 
ment which has probably been derived from a remnant of the ancient 
Dravidian race incorporated with the Brahuis. The discovery of this 
Dravidian element in a language spoken beyond the Indus proves that 
the Dravidians, like the Aryans, the Graeco-Scythians and the Turco- 
Mongolians, entered India by the north-western route. 

The following is an outline of the particulars in which the Brahui is found to 
be allied to the DrS;Vidian tongues. 

(1.) In Brahui, as in the Dravidian dialects, the cases of nouns are denoted by 

(2.) The gender of nouns is expressed not by their inflexions, but by prefixed 
separate words. 

(3.) The number of nouns is ordinarily denoted by the use of separate particles 
of pluralisation, such as many, several, &c. When a noun stands alone without 
any such sign of plurality, its number is considered to be indefinite, and it is then 
regarded as singular or plural according to the context, or the number of the verb 
with which it agrees. This rule is remarkably in accordance with the Tamil. 

(4.) Adjectives are destitute of comparatives and superlatives. 

(5.) Pronouns form their genitives in 'na' or 'a;' e.g., 'kana,' of me; 
'nana,' of iie. Compare Tamilian 'nama,' of us, and the G6nd genitive suffix 
'na' or 'a.' 

(6.) The Brahui dative-accusative is in 'e.' Compare the Malaysia accusative 
'&,' Tamil 'ei.' 

(7.) The Brahui pronoun of the second person singular is 'nt,' thou, precisely 
the same as in all the Dravidian tongues. The analogy of the plural of this pro- 
noun, viz., 'num,' you, 'numa,' of you, is also wonderfully in accordance with 


classical Dra vidian forjns. The Canarese is ' n!m,' you; the old Tamil possessive 
is "num-a/ !yoM»- (derived from an obsolete nominative in 'nfim' or 'num'), and 
the ordinary base of the oblique cases of this pronoun in colloquial Tamil is ' um' 
(the initial 'n' being lost), which is also the termination of the plural of the 
second person imperative. 

(8.) Whilst 'nim' or 'nflm' is to be considered as the most classical form 
of the plural of the Dravidian pronoun of the second peiBOn, ' nlr ' is the form ordi- 
narily used in a separate shape in Tamil, ' mlru ' in Telugu; and in consequence 
of this plural termination in ' r,' in nearly all the DrSlvidian idioms the second 
person plural of the verb in the indicative mood ends, not in 'im' or 'um,' 
but in 'Ir,' 'eru,' '^ru,' Mri,' &c. The same peculiarity reappears in the 
Brahui. Whilst the separate pronoun ends in ' m,' ' r ' is the pronominal sign 
of the second person of the verb ; e. g., ' areri,' ye are, ' arer,' they are ; with 
■which compare the Canarese ' ini(tt)lri,' ye are, 'iru(tt)&,re,' they are. 

(9.) The root of the substantive verb in Brahui is ' ar,' in Canarese and 
Tamil ' ir.' 

(10.) A remarkable analogy between the Brah>ii and the Dravidian languages is 
apparent in the reflexive pronoun self, 'se.' In the DrS, vidian languages this 
pronoun is universally ' t3,n ' or ' tan -.' in the Brahui ' ten.' 

(11.) Bopp remarks that the three lowest numerals could never be introduced 
into any country by foreigners. The truth of this remark is illustrated by a cir- 
cumstance of which Bopp could scarcely have been aware. From four upwards, 
the Brahui numerals are of Indo-European origin (c. g., ' char,' four, 'panj,' five, 
'shash,' six); and in the compound numerals twenty-one and twenty-two, the 
words for one and two are also Indo-European, but the separate numerals one, two, 
three, are totally unconnected with the Sanscrit family, and two of them are iden- 
tical with DrS/vidian numerals. In Brahui, two is ' irat ;' compare Canarese, 
• erad-u,' two ; Tamil, ' irat-(tu),' twofold or double. In Brahui three is 
' musit ;' compare Canarese ' mfir-u ;' Telugu, ' mM-u.' The Dravidian bases 
of these numerals are 'ir,' two, 'mft,' three; and if we notice the terminations 
of the Brahui numerals (1, 'asit;' 2, 'irat;' 3, 'musit;') it is obvious that the 
second syllable of each of these words, 'it,' or 'at' is merely a neuter formative, 
like that which we find in the DrS-vidian languages (e.g., compare ' ir,' the base 
and numeral adjective two, with 'iradu,' the abstract neuter ■o.qxs.-d. two): conse- 
quently the agreement of the Brahui with the Dravidian numerals, both in the 
base and in the formative, is complete. If we remember the interchangeable 
relation of 's' and 'r,' and if we regard the Canarese 'm<ir,' three, and the 
Brahui ' mus,' as an instance of this interchange, as I think we may safely do, 
we may also venture to connect the Dravidian numeral base, ' or,' one, with the 
Brahui 'as.' This connection, however, is doubtful, whereas there cannot be any 
doubt respecting two and three. 

(12.) In the class of auxiliary words (prepositions, conjunctions, &c.) compare 
the Brahui, 'monl,' opposite, with the Tamil, 'munnS,' before; and also the 
copulative conjunction 'ft,' and, with the corresponding Canarese 'A.' 

In the limited vocabulary of the Brahui language, which is given in the Jour- 
nal of the Bengal Asiatic Society, I notice a few Dravidian roots. In the following 
list I include also a few Dravidian words, which are found in the Laghmani, an 
Afghan dialect, containing an element allied to the Brahui. 






do., Laghmani and Cashgari 


do., Laghmani 

mud or earth 

ass (female) Lagb. 
cat, Laghmani 
to come 
to go, Laghmani 

Beahdi, &o, Tamil, &;e. 



khaff » 

k^d ) 
















pir (Gond), bir (Tuda) 


billu (Can.) 




karudei, ass 


bar-u (Can.) 


It is true tLat the great majority of the words in the Brahui language 
are altogether unconnected with Dravidian roots ; but it must be evi- 
dent from the analogies in structure, as well as in the vocabulary, which 
have now been exhibited, that this language contains many grammati- 
cal forms essentially and distinctly Dr§.vidian, together with a small 
proportion of important Dravidian vocables. The Brahuis state that 
their forefathers came from Haleb (Aleppo) ; but even if this tradition 
were to be regarded as a credible one, it would apply to the secondary 
or conquering race of Indo-European origin, not to the aboriginal, 
indigenous Dravidians. The previous existence of the latter race 
seems to have been forgotten, and the only evidence that they ever 
existed is that which is furnished by the Dravidian element which has 
been discovered in the language of their conquerors. 

The analogies between the Brahui and the DrS,vidian languages which have 
now been pointed out, are incomparably closer than any analogy which subsists 
between the Dravidian languages and the Bodo, the Dhimal, and the languages 
of the other tribes on the north-eastern frontier of India which have been termed 
" Tamulian " by Mr. Hodgson. Those analogies appear to me to be as remote 
as those of the Tibetan family ; and are not only less numerous, but also of a 
less essential character and less distinctive than the analogies which are discover- 
able between the Finnish tongues and the Dr8,vidian. 

Compare the following list of Dravidian words of primary importance with 
analogous words in the Brahui, and with the words in the Bodo and Dhimal 
which correspond in signification : — 


































































It seema unneceaaary to give a larger number of instances ; for whilst the 
Brahui does to a certain extent contain Dr&yidian forma and words, the Bodo and 
Dhimal, and to them may be added the other dialects of the north-eastern 
forests, present no special analogies whateyer; and contain only a few vague 
atruotural affinitiea, which they have in common not only with the Dra.vidian, but 
with the Tibetan, and with every other language and family of languages of the 
Scythian group. 

Use of the Common Term ' DrAvidian.' 

I have designated all the languages now subjected to comparison 
by a common term, ' Dravidian,' because of the essential and distinc- 
tive grammatical characteristics which they all possess in common, 
and in virtue of which, joined to the possession in common of a large 
number of roots of primary importance, they justly claim to be con- 
sidered as springing from a common origin, and as forming a distinct 
family of tongues. 

This family which I style 'Dravidian' has been styled ' Tamu- 
lian' by some recent writers ; but though the Tamil is the oldest and 
most highly cultivated member of the family, and that which contains 
the largest proportion of the family property of forms and roots, yet as 
it is but one dialect out of many, and does not claim to be the original 
speech from which the other dialects have been derived ; as it is also 
desirable to reserve the terms ' Tamil' and ' Tamilian ' (or as it is 
generally but erroneously written ' Tamulian ') to denote the Tamil 
language itself and the people by whom it is spoken, I have preferred 
to designate this entire family by a term which is capable of a wider 
application. The word which I have chosen is ' Dravidian,' a word 
which has already been used as the generic appellation of this family 
of tongues by the Sanscrit geographers. Properly speaking, the term 
'Dr&vida' denotes the Tamil country alone (including Malay^lam), 
and Tamil Brahmans are usually styled ' Dravida Brahmans.' 
'Dravida' means the 'country of the DrSvidas ;' and a Dravida is 
defined in the Sanscrit lexicons to be " a man of an outcast tribe, 
descended from a degraded Kshatriya." This name was doubtless 
applied by the BrahmanioaL inhabitants of Northern India to the 


aborigines of the extreme South prior to the introduction amongst 
them of Brahmanical civilisation, and is an evidence of the low estima- 
tion in which they were originally held. In the Maha-Bharata, in 
which the Dravidas are distinguished from the Ch61as, or Tanjore 
Tamilians, the term is still further restricted to the Pandiyaa of 
Madura, doubtless on account of the advanced civilisation and early 
celebrity of the Pandiya kingdom. The term ' Dravidian' is thus in 
itself as restricted as that of ' Tamilian,' but it has the advantage of 
being remoter' from ordinary usage, and somewhat more vague, and 
the further and more special advantage of being the term already 
adopted"by Sanscrit writers to designate the sou ttern -family of lan- 
guages. Consequently, by the adoption of this more generic term, the 
word " Tamilian'' has been left to signify that which is distinctively 

The colloquial languages of India are divided by the Sanscrit 
Pandits into two classes, each containing five dialects. These are 
denominated respectively 'the five Gauras' and 'the five Draviras.' 
By the Gauda or Gaura languages are meant the ' bhashaa,' or 
popular dialects, of Northern India, at the head of which stands the 
Bengali, the Gaura proper. Some of the 'bhftshas' or Pracrits an- 
ciently enumerated have ceased to be spoken. At present the Bengali, 
the Uriya, the Hindi with its daughter the Hindustani, the Panjabi, 
the Siudhi, the Gujarathi, and the Marathi are the languages which 
may be regarded as forming the Gaura class ; to which I would add 
the Cashmirian and the language of Nipal, thus reckoning in this class 
nine idioms instead of five. 

The five Dravidas or Draviras, according to the Pandits, are " the 
Telinga, the Karnataka, the Maratha, the Gurjara, and the Dravira," 
or Tamil proper. The Maratha and Gurjara are erroneously included 
in this enumeration. It is true that the Marathi contains a small 
admixture of Dravidian roots and idioms, as might be expected from 
its local proximity to the Telugu and the Canarese ; and both it and 
the (furjara, or Gujarathi, possess certain features of resemblance to the 
languages of the South, which are possibly derived from the same or a 
similar source ; but, notwithstanding the existence of a few analogies 
of this nature, those two languages difier from the Dravidian family so 
widely and radically, and are so closely allied to the northern group, ' 
that there cannot be any hesitation in transferring them to that class. 
The three languages that remain in the classification of Dravidian 
tongues which is contained in the Sanscrit geographical lists, viz., the 
Karnataka, Kannada or Canarese, the Telinga, Telungu or Telugu, and 
the Dravida proper or Tamil, are certainly the principal members of 


the southern or Dravidian family It will be observed that the 
Malayalam and the Tnlu are not contained in the Sanscrit enumeration. 
The first was considered to be a dialect of the Tamil, and was included 
in the denomination of the Dravida proper ; the second was probably 
considered as a dialect of the Canarese. The uncultivated dialects— 
the Tuda, Kota, Gond, and Ku — appear to have been unknown to the 
Pandits ; and even had they been known, probably they would not 
have been deemed worthy of notice. 

No term belonging to the Dravidian languages themselves has ever 
been used to designate all the members of this family, nor are the 
native Tamil or Telugu grammarians, though deeply skilled in the 
grammar of their own tongues, sufficiently acquainted with comparative 
grammar to have arrived at the conclusion that all these idioms have a 
common origin and require to be designated by a common term. Some 
European scholars who have confined their attention to the study of 
some one Dravidian idiom to the neglect of the others, have fallen into 
the same error of supposing these languages independent one of 
another. The Sanscrit Pandits had a clearer perception of grammatical 
affinities and diflierences than the Dravidian grammarians ; and, though 
their generalisation was not perfectly correct, it has furnished us with 
the only common terms which we possess for denoting the northern 
and southern families of languages respectively. 

The DbAvidian Languages independent op the Sanscrit. 

It was supposed by the Sanscrit Pandits (by whom everything 
with which they were acquainted was referred to a Brahmanical origin), 
and too hastily taken for granted by the earlier European scholars, that 
the Dravidian languages, though diflfering in many particulars from 
the North-Indian idioms, were equally with them derived from the 
Sanscrit. They could not but see that each of the Dravidian 
languages to which their attention had been drawn, contained a 
certain proportion of Sanscrit words, some of which were quite 
unchanged, though some were so much altered as to be recognized with 
difficulty; and though they observed clearly enough that each language 
contained also many Un-Sanscrit words and forms, they did not 
observe that those words and forms constituted the bulk of ' the 
language, or that it was in them that the living spirit of the language 
resided. Consequently they contented themselves with ascribing the 
Un-Sanscrit portion of these languages to an admixture of a foreign 
element of unknown origin. According to this view there was no 
essential difference between 'the Dravidas' and 'the Gaudas ;' for 


the Bengali and the other languages of the Gaura group contain also a 
small proportion of Un-Sanscrit words and forms, whilst in the main 
they are corruptions of the Sanscrit. This representation fell far short 
of the real state of the case, and the supposition of the derivation of 
the Dravidian languages from the Sanscrit, though entertained in the 
past generation by a Colebrooke, a Carey, and a Wilkins, is now 
known to be entirely destitute of foundation. The orientalists referred 
to, though deeply learned in Sansotit and well acquainted with the 
idioms of Northern India, were unacquainted, or but very slightly 
acquainted, with the Dravidian languages. No person who has any 
acquaintance with the principles of comparative philology and who 
has carefully studied the grammars and vocabularies of the Dravidian 
languages, and compared them with those of the Sanscrit, can suppose 
that the grammatical structure and inflexional forms of those languages 
and the greater number of their more important roots are capable of 
being derived from the Sanscrit by any process of corruption whatso- 

The hypothesis of the existence of a remote original affinity 
between the Dravidian languages and the Sanscrit, or rather between 
those languages and the Indo-European family of tongues, inclusive of 
the Sanscrit, of such a nature as to allow us to give the Dravidian 
languages a place in the Indo-European group, is altogether different 
from the notion of the direct derivation of those languages from the 
Sanscrit. The hypothesis of a remote original affinity is favoured by 
some interesting analogies both in the grammar and in the vocabulary, 
which will be noticed in their place. Some of those analogies are best 
accounted for by the supposition of the retention by the Dravidian 
family, as by the Finnish and the Turkish, of a certain number of 
roots and forms belonging to the Pre-Sanscrit period, the period which 
preceded the final separation of the Indo-European group of tongues 
from the Scythian. I think I shall also be able to prove, with respect 
to another portion of the analogies referred to, that instead of the 
Dravidian languages having borrowed them from the Sanscrit, or both 
having derived them from a common source, the Sanscrit has not 
disdained to borrow, them from its Dravidian neighbours. Whatever 
probabilities may be in favour of the hypothesis now mentioned, the 
older supposition of the direct derivation of the Drfividian languages 
from the Sanscrit, in the same manner as the Hindi, the Bengali, and 
the other Gaura dialects are directly derived from it, was certainly 
erroneous. (1.) It overlooked the circumstance that the Un-Sanscrit 
portion of the DrS.vidian languages was nearly as much in excess of 
the Sanscrit, as in the North-Indian idioms the Sanscrit was in excess 


of the barbarian or Un-Sanscrit element. (2.) It overlooked the still 
more material circumstance that the pronouns and numerals of the 
Dravidian languages, their verbal and nominal inflexions, and the 
syntactic arrangement of their words — everything, in short, which 
constitutes the living spirit of a language — were originally and 
radically different from the Sanscrit. (3.) The Orientalists who held 
the opinion of the derivation of the Dravidian languages from the 
Sanscrit relied mainly on the circumstance that all dictionaries of 
Dravidian languages contained a large number of Sanscrit words 
scarcely at all altered, and a still larger number which, though much 
altered, were unquestionably Sanscrit derivatives. They were not, 
however, aware that such words are never regarded by native scholars 
as of Dravidian origin, but are known and acknowledged to be derived 
from the Sanscrit, and that they are arranged in classes, according to 
the degree in which they have been corrupted, or with reference to 
the medium through which they have been derived. They were also 
unaware that true Dravidian words, which form the great majority vof 
the words in the southern vocabularies, are placed by native gram- 
marians in a different class from the above-mentioned derivatives from 
the Sanscrit, and honoured with the epithets ' national words' and 
' pure words.' The Telugu grammarians specify even the time when 
Sanscrit derivatives were first introduced into Telugu ; by which we 
are doubtless to understand the time when the Brahmans established 
themselves in the Telugu country. They say, — " The adherents of 
King Andhra-riya, who then resided on the banks of the Godavery, 
spoke Sanscrit derivatives, many of which words in course of time 
became corrupted. That other class of words consisting of nouns, 
verbals, and verbs, which were created by the god Brahma before the 
time of this king, are oalled 'pure (Telugu) words.' The date of the 
reign of this King Andhra-raya, or King of the Andhras (a division of 
the ancient Telugus); who is now worshipped at Chicacole as a deity, 
is unknown, but was probably several centuries anterior to the 
Christian era. 

In general no difficulty is felt in distinguishing Sanscrit derivatives 
from the ancient Dravidian roots. There are a few cases only in 
which it may be doubtful whether particular words are Sanscrit or 
Dravidian, e.g., 'nir,' water, and 'min,' fish, are claimed as com- 
ponent parts of both languages; though I believe that both are of 
Dravidian origin. 

(4.) The Orientalists who supposed the Dr&.vidian languages to be 
derived from the Sanscrit were not aware of the existence of unculti- 
vated languages of the Dravidian family, in which Sanscrit words are 


not at all, or butvery rarely, employed; and they were also not aware 
that some of the Dravidian languages which make use of Sanscrit 
derivatives, are able to dispense with those derivatives altogether 
such derivatives being considered rather as luxuries or articles of 
finery than as necessaries. It is true it would now be diflScult for the 
Telugu to dispense with its Sanscrit : more so for the Canarese ; and 
most of all for the Malay^lam : — those languages having borrowed from 
the Sanscrit so largely, and being so habituated to look up to it for 
help, that it would be scarcely possible for them now to assert their 
independence. The Tamil, however, the most highly cultivated ah 
intra of all Dravidian idioms, can dispense with its Sanscrit altogether, 
if need be, and not only stand alone but flourish without its aid. 

The ancient or classical dialect of the Tamil language, called the 
* Shen-Tamil,' or correct Tamil, in which nearly all the literature 
has been written, contains exceedingly little Sanscrit; and differs 
from the colloquial dialect, or the language of prose, chiefly in the 
sedulous and jealous care with which it has rejected the use of Sanscrit 
derivatives and characters, and restricted itself to pure Dravidian 
sounds, forms, and roots. So completely has this jealousy of Sanscrit 
pervaded the minds of the educated classes amongst the Tamilians, 
that a Tamil composition is regarded as refined, in accordance with 
good taste, and worthy of being called classical, not iu proportion 
to the amount of Sanscrit which it. con tains, as would be the case in 
some other dialects, but in proportion to its freedom from Sanscrit ! 
The speech of the very lowest classes of the people in the retired 
country districts accords to a considerable extent with the classical 
dialect in dispensing with Sanscrit derivatives. In every country it is 
in the poetry and in the speech of the peasantry that the ancient 
condition of the language is best studied. It is in Tamil prose com- 
positions and in the ordinary speech of the Brahmans and the more 
learned Tamilians that the largest infusion of Sanscrit is contained ; 
and the words that have been borrowed from the Sanscrit are chiefly 
those which express abstract ideas of philosophy, science, and religion, 
together with the technical terms of the more elegant arts. Even in 
prose compositions on religious subjects, in which a larger amount of 
Sanscrit is employed than in any other departinent of literature, the 
proportion of Sanscrit which has found its way into Tamil is not 
greater than the amount of Latin contained in corresponding composi- 
tions in English. Let us, for example, compare the amount of Sanscrit 
which is contained in the Tamil translation of the Ten Commandments 
(Prayer- Book version) with the amount of Latin which is contained in 
the English version of the same formula^ and which has- found its way 


into it, either directly, from Ecclesiastical Latin, or indirectly, through 
the medium of the Norman-French. Of forty-three nouns and adjec- 
tives in the English version twenty-nine are Anglo-Saxon, fourteen 
Latin : of fifty-three nouns and adjectives in the Tamil (the difference 
in idiom causes this difference in the number) thirty-two are Dravidian, 
twenty-one Sanscrit. Of twenty verbs in the English, thirteen are 
Anglo-Saxon, seven Latin : of thirty-four verbs in the Tamil, twenty- 
seven are Dravidian, and only seven Sanscrit. Of the five numerals 
which are found in the English, either in their cardinal or their 
ordinal shape, all are Anglo-Saxon : of the six numerals found in 
the Tamil, five are Dravidian, one (' thousand') is probably Sanscrit. 
Putting all these numbers together, for the purpose of ascertaining 
the percentage, I find that in the department of nouns, numerals and 
verbs, the amount of the foreign element is in both instances the same, 
viz., as nearly as possible forty-five per cent. In both instances, also, 
all the pronouns, prepositions, adverbs, and conjunctions, and all the 
inflexional forms and connecting particles are the property of the 
native tongue. 

Trench's expressions respecting the character of the contributions 
which our mother-English has received from Anglo-Saxon and from 
Latin respectively, are exactly applicable to the relation and propor- 
tion which the native Dravidian element bears to the Sanscrit con- 
tained in the Tamil. 

" All its joints, its whole articulation, its sinews and its ligaments, 
the great body of articles, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, nume- 
rals, auxiliary verbs, all smaller words which serve to knit together, 
and bind the larger into sentences, these, not to speak of the gramma- 
tical structure of the language, are exclusively Anglo-Saxon (Dravi- 
dian). The Latin (Sanscrit) may contribute its tale of bricks, yea of 
goodly and polished hewn stones, to the spiritual building, but the 
mortar, with all that holds and binds these together, and constitutes 
them into a house is Anglo-Saxon (Dravidian) throughout.'' 

Though the proportion of Sanscrit which we find to be contained 
in the Tamil version of the Ten Commandments happens to correspond 
so exactly to the proportion of Latin which is contained in the English 
version, it would be an error to conclude that the Tamil language is 
as deeply indebted to the Sanscrit as the English is to the Latin. 

The Tamil can readily dispense with the greater part or the whole 
of its Sanscrit, and by dispensing with it rises to a purer and more 
refined style ; whereas the English cannot abandon its Latin witliout 
abandoning perspicuity. Such is the poverty of the Anglo-Saxon that 
it has no synonymes of its own for many of the words which it has 


borrowed from the Latin j so that if it were obliged to dispense with 
them, it would, in most cases, be under the necessity of using a very 
awkward periphrasis instead of a single word. The Tamil, on the other 
hand, is peculiarly rich in synouymes ; and generally it is not through 
any real necessity, but from choice and the fashion of the age, that it 
makes use of Sanscrit. If the Ten Commandments were expressed in 
the speech of the lower classes of the Tamil people, or in the language 
of every-day life, the proportion of Sanscrit would be very greatly 
diminished ; and if we wished to raise the style of the translation to a 
refined and classical pitch, Sanscrit would almost entirely disappear. 
Of the entire number of words which are contained in this formula 
there is only one which could not be expressed with faultless propriety 
and poetic elegance in equivalents of pure Dra vidian origin : that 
word is ' graven image' or ' idol' ! Both word and thing are foreign 
to primitive Tamil usages and habits of thought; and were introduced 
into the Tamil country by the Brahmans, with the Puranic system of 
religion and the worship of idols. Through the predominant influence 
of the religion of the Brahmans, the majority of the words expressive 
of religious ideas which are in actual use in modern Tamil are of 
Sanscrit origin ; and though there are equivalent Dravidian words 
which are equally appropriate, and in some instances more so, such 
words have gradually become obsolete, and are now confined to the 
poetical dialect ; so that the use of them in prose compositions would 
sound affected and pedantic. This is the real and only reason why 
Sanscrit derivatives are so generally used in Tamil religious com- 

In the other Dravidian languages, whatever be the nature of the 
composition or subject-matter treated of, the amount of Sanscrit which 
is employed is considerably larger than in Tamil ,• and the use of it has 
acquired more of the character of a necessity. This is in consequence 
of the literature of those languages having chiefly been cultivated by 
Brahmans. Even in Telugu the principal grammatical writers and the 
most celebrated poets have been Brahmans. There is only one work 
of note in that language which was not composed by a member of the 
sacred caste ; and indeed the Telugu Siidras, who constitute par excel- 
lence, the Telugu people, seem almost entirely to have abandoned to 
the Brahmans the culture of their own language, with every other 
branch of literature and science. In Tamil, on the contrary, few 
Brahmans have written anything worthy of preservation. The lan- 
guage has been cultivated and developed with immense zeal and 
success by native Tamilian Sudras ; and the highest rank in Tamil 
literature which has been reached by a Brahman is that of a commen- 


tator. The commentary of Parimilaragar on tlie KuBal of Tiru- 
valluvar (a Pariar ! but the acknowledged and deified prince of Tamil 
authors) is the most classical production which has been written in 
Tamil by a Brahman. 

Professor Wilson observes that the spoken languages of the South 
were cultivated in imitation and rivalry of the Sanscrit, and but par- 
tially aspired to an independent literature ; that the principal compo- 
sitions in Tamil, Telugu, Canarese, and Malayalam are translations or 
paraphrases from Sanscrit works ; and that they largely borrow the 
phraseology of their originals. This representation is not perfectly 
correct, in so far as the Tamil is concerned ; for the compositions that 
are universally admitted to be the ablest and finest, in the language, 
viz., the CuRal and the Chintamani, are perfectly independent of the 
Sanscrit, and original in design as well as in execution ; and though 
it is true that Tamil writers have imitated — I cannot say translated — 
the Ramiyana, the Maha-bh^rata, and similar works, they boast that 
the Tamil Ramayana of their own Kamban is greatly superior to the 
Sanscrit original of Valmiki. 

(5.) Of all evidences of identity or diversity of languages the 
most conclusive are those which are furnished by a comparison of their 
grammatical structure ; and by such a comparison the independence of 
the Dravidian languages of the Sanscrit will satisfactorily and conclu- 
sively be established. By the same comparison (at the risk of antici- 
pating a question which will be discussed more fully in the body of 
the work), the propriety of placing these languages in the Scythian 
group, rather than in the Indo-European, will be indicated. 

The most prominent and essential differences in point of grammati- 
cal structure between the Dravidian languages and the Sanscrit, are 
as follows : — 

(i.) In the Dravidian languages all nouns denoting inanimate 
substances and irrational beings are of the neuter gender. The dis- 
tinctrpn of male and female appears only in tbe pronouns of the third 
person ; in the adjectives (properly appellative nouns) which denote 
rational beings, and are formed by suffixing the pronominal terminations; 
and in the third person of the verb, which, being formed by suffixing 
the same pronominal terminations, has three forms in the singular and 
two in the plural, to distinguish the several genders, and in accordance 
with the pronouns of the third person. In all other cases where it is 
required to mark the distinction of gender, separate words signifying 
'male' and 'female' are prefixed; but, even in such cases, though 
the object denoted be the male or female of an animal, the noun which 
denotes it does not cease to be considered neuter, and neuter forms of 


the pronoun and verb are required to be conjoined with it. This rule 
presents a marked contrast to the rules respecting gender which we 
find in the vivid and highly imaginative Sanscrit, and in the other 
Indo-European languages, but it accords with the usage of all the 
\ languages of the Scythian group. 

(ii.) Dravidian nouns are inflected, not by means of case-termina- 
tions, but by means of suffixed postjjositions and separable particles, 
as in the Scythian tongues. The only difference between the declension 
of the plural and that of the singular, is that the inflexional signs are 
annexed in the singular to the base, in the plural to the sign of 
plurality, exactly as in the Scythian languages. After the plnralising 
particle has been added to the base, all nouns, irrespective of number 
and gender, are declined in the same manner as in the singular. 

(iii.) The Dravidian dative 'ku,' 'ki,' or *ge,' bears no analogy 
to any dative case-termination which is found in the Sanscrit or in any 
of the Indo-European languages ; but it perfectly corresponds to the 
dative of the Oriental Turkish, to that of the language of the Scythian 
tablets of Behistun, and to that of several of the languages of the 
Finnish family. 

(iv.) Wherever prepositions are used in the Indo-European lan- 
guages, the Dravidian languages, with those of the Scythian group, 
use post-positions instead, — which post-positions do not constitute a 
separate part of speech, but are real nouns of relation or quality, 
adopted as auxiliaries. All adverbs are either nouns or the gerunds I 
or infinitives of verbs. ' 

(v.) In Sanscrit and all the Indo-European tongues, adjectives are 
declined like substantives, and agree with the substantives to which 
they are conjoined in gender, number; and case. In the Dravidian 
languages, as in the Scythian, adjectives are incapable of declension. 
When used separately as abstract nouns of quality,, which is the 
original and natural character of Dravidian adjectives, they are subject 
to all the affections of substantives; but when they are used adjectiv- 
ally, i.e., to qualify other substantives, they do not admit of any 
inflexional change, but are simply prefixed to the nouns which they 

(vi.) It is also a characteristic of these languages, as of the Mongo- 
lian, the Manchu, and several other ScytEian languages, in contra- 
distinction to the languages of the Indo-European family, that, 
wherever it is practicable, they use as adjectives the relative participles 
of verbs, in preference to nouns of quality, or adjectives properly so 
called ; and that in consequence of this tendency, when nouns of 
quality are used, the formative termination of the relative participle 

D 2 


is generally suffixed to them, through which suffix tliey partake of the 
character both of nouns and of verbs. 

(vii.) The existence of two pronouns of the first person plural, one 
of which includes, the other excludes the party addressed, is a peculi- 
arity of the Dravidian dialects, as of many of the Scythian languages; 
but is unknown to the Sanscrit and the languages of the Indo- 
European family. 

(viii.) The situation of the governing word is characteristic of each 
of these families of languages. In Sanscrit and the Indo-European 
family it usually precedes the word governed : in the Dravidian and 
in all the Scythian languages, it is invariably placed after it; in con- 
sequence of which the principal verb always occupies the last place in 
the sentence. The adjective precedes the substantive: the adverb 
precedes the verb : the substantive which is governed by a verb, 
together with every word that depends upon it or qualifies it, precedes 
the verb by which it is governed : the relative participle precedes the 
noun on which it depends: the negative branch of a sentence precedes 
the affirmative: the noun in the genitive case precedes that which 
governs it: the jore-position changes places with the noun and. becomes 
a postposition in virtue of its governing a case : and finally the 
sentence is concluded by the one, all-governing, finite verb. In each 
of these important and highly characteristic peculiarities of syntax the 
Dravidian languages and the Scythian are thoroughly agreed. 

(ix.) The Dravidian languages like the Scythian, but unlike the 
Indo-European, prefer the use of continuative participles to conjunc- 

(x.) The existence of a negative as well as an affirmative voice 
in the verbal system of these languages, constitutes another essential 
point of difierence between them and the languages of the Indo- 
European family : it equally constitutes a point of agreement between 
them and the Scythian tongues. 

(xi.) It is a marked peculiarity of these languages as of the 
Mongolian and the Manchu, and in a modified degree of many other 
Scythian languages, that they make use of relative participles instead 
of relative pronouns. There is not a trace of the existence of a relative 
pronoun in any Dravidian language. The place of such pronouns is 
supplied, as in the Scythian tongues mentioned above, by relative 
participles, which are formed from the present, preterite, and future 
participles of the verb by the addition of a formative suffix ; which 
suffix is in general identical with the sign of the possessive case. 
Thus, the person who came, is in Tamil ' vand-a al,' literally, the 
who-came iperaon ; 'vand' the preterite verbal participle signifying 


having come, being converted into a relative participle, equivalent to 
the-who-came, by the addition of the old possessive and adjectival 
suffix ' a.' 

Many other differences in grammatical structure will be pointed 
out hereafter, in the course of the grammatical analysis : but in the 
important particulars which are mentioned above, the Dr&vidian 
languages evidently differ so considerably from the languages of the 
Indo-European family, and in particular from the Sanscrit (notwith- 
standing the predominance for so many ages of the social and religious 
influence of the Sanscrit-speaking race), that it cannot be doubted that 
they belong to a totally different family of tongues. They are neither 
derived from the Sanscrit, nor are capable of being affiliated with it : 
and it cannot have escaped the notice of the student of comparative 
philology, that in every one of those particulars in which the gram- 
matical structure of the Dravidian languages differs from the Sanscrit, 
it agrees with the structure of the Scythian languages, or the languages 
of Central and Northern Asia. 

Is THE Uw-Sanscrit Element contained in the Vernacular 
Languages op Northern India DrAvidian ? 

The hypothesis of the direct derivation of the Dravidian tongues 
from the Sanscrit, with the admixture of a proportion of words and 
forms from an unknown source, being now no longer entertained, some 
oriental scholars have adopted an opposite hypothesis, and attributed 
to the influence of the Drividian languages that corruption of the 
Sanscrit out of which the vernaculars of Northern India have arisen. 
It has been supposed by the Rev. Dr. Stevenson, of Bombay, 
Mr. Hodgson, of Nipaul, and some other orientalists, (1 ) that the North- 
Indian vernaculars have been derived from the Sanscrit, not so much 
by the natural process of corruption and disintegration, as through the 
over-mastering, re-moulding power of the Un-Sanscrit element which 
is contained in them ; and (2) that this Un-Sanscrit element is identical 
with the Dravidian speech, which they suppose to have been the speech 
of the ancient Nishadas, and other aborigines of India. 

The first part of this hypothesis appears to rest upon a better foun- 
dation than the second: but even the first part appears to me to be too 
strongly expressed, and to require considerable modification j for in some 
important particulars the corruption of the Sanscrit into the Hindi, the 
Bengali, &c. has been shown to have arisen from that natural process 
of change which we see exemplified in Europe, in the corruption of the 
Latin into the Italian and the French. Nevertheless, on comparing 
the grammatical structure and essential character of the Sanscrit, with 
that of the vernaculars of Northern India, I feel persuaded that those 


vernaculars have to a considerable extent been corrupted in a Scythian 
direction, and through the operation of Scythian influences. 

The modifications which the grammar of the North-Indian languages 
have received, being generally of one and the same character, and in 
one and the same direction, it is obvious that there must have been a 
common modifying cause ; and as the barbarian or Un-Sanscrit portion 
of those languages, which Professor Wilson styles ' a portion of a 
primitive, unpolished, and scanty speech, the relics of a period prior to 
civilization,' is generally calculated to amount to one-tenth of the 
whole, and in Marathi, to a fifth, it seems reasonable to infer that it 
was from that extraneous element that the modifying influences pro- 

It is admitted that before the arrival of the Aryans, or Sanscrit- 
speaking colony of Brahmans, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas, the greater 
part of Northern India was peopled by rnde aboriginal tribes, called 
by Sanscrit writers, Mlfechchaa, Dasyus, Nishadas, &o. ; and it is the 
received opinion that those aboriginal tribes were of Scythian, or at 
least of Non- Aryan origin. On the irruption of the Aryans, it would 
naturally happen that the copious and expressive Sanscrit of the con- 
quering race would almost overwhelm the vocabulary of the rude 
Scythian tongue which was spoken by the aboriginal tribes. Never- 
theless, as the grammatical structure of the Scythian tongues possesses 
peculiar stability and persistency ; and as the Pre- Aryan tribes, who 
were probably more numerous than the Aryans, were not annihilated, 
but only reduced to a dependent position, and eventually, in most 
instances, incorporated in the Aryan community, the large Sanscrit 
addition which the Scythian vernaculars received, would not necessarily 
alter their essential structure, or deprive them of the power of influencing 
and assimilating the speech of the conquering race. According to this 
theory, the grammatical structure of the spoken idioms of Northern 
India was from the first, and always continued to be, in the main, 
Scythian ; and the change which took place when Sanscrit acquired 
the predominance, as the Aryans gradually extended their conquests 
and their colonies, was rather a change of vocabulary than of grammar, 
—a change not so much in arrangement and vital spirit as in the 
materiel of the language. 

This hypothesis seems to have the merit of according better than 
any other with existing phenomena. Seeing that the northern verna- 
culars possess, with the words of the Sanscrit, a grammatical structure 
which in the main appears to be Scythian, it seems more correct to 
represent those languages as having a Scythian basis, with a large and 
almost overwhelming Sanscrit addition, than as having a Sanscrit basis, 
with a small admixture of a Scythian element. 


Whichever proposition be adopted, there is not much room for dif- 
ference of opinion respecting the /acfo that are involved in the dispute; 
the existence of a Scythian element in the colloquial dialects of 
Northern India having been poi&ted out many years ago by Sir W. 
Jones, and never since called in question. 

The second part of the hypothesis of Dr. Stevenson, viz., the 
identity of the Un-Sanscrit or Scythian element which is contained 
in those languages with the languages of the Dravidian family, rests 
on a different foundation, and appears to me to be less defensible. 

According to the supposition in question, the Scythian or Dravidian 
element is substantially one and the same in all the vernacular 
languages of India, whether northern or southern, but is smallest in 
amount in those districts of Northern India which were first conquered 
by the Aryans; greater in the remoter districts of the Dekhan, Telin- 
gana, and Mysore ; and greatest of all in the Tamil country, at the 
southern extremity of the peninsula^ to which the aggressions of the 
Brahmanical race had not extended in the age of Manu and the 

This hypothesis is certainly in accordance with the current of 
events in the ancient history of India : but whatever relationship, in 
point of blood and race, may originally have subsisted between the 
northern aborigines and the southern — whatever ethnological evidences 
of their identity may be supposed to exist; — when we view the question 
philologically, and with reference to the evidence which is furuishe 
by their languages alone, the hypothesis of their identity does not 
appear to me to have been established. It may be true that various 
analogies in point of grammatical structure appear to connect the 
Un-Sanscrit element which is contained in the North-Indian idioms 
with the Scythian or Tartar tongues. This connection, however, 
amounts only to a general relationship to the entire group of Scythian 
languages ; and no special relationship to the Dravidian languages, in 
contrordistinclion to those of the Turkish, the Finnish, or any other 
Scythian family, has yet been proved to exist. Indeed I conceive that 
the Scythian substratum of the North-Indian idioms presents a greater 
number of points of agreement with the Oriental Turkish, or with that 
Scythian tongue or family of tongues by which the New Persian has 
been modified, than with any of the Dravidian langufiges. 

The principal particulars in which the grammar of the North- 
Indian idioms accords with that of the Dravidian languages are aa 
follows : — (1), the inflexion of nouns by means of separate post-fixed 
particles; (2), the inflexion of the plural by annexing to the unvary- 
ing sign of plurality the same sufiixes of case as those by which the- 


singular is inflected ; (3), the use of a dative or dative-accusative in 
' ko' or 'ku :' (4), the use in several of the northern idioms of two pro- 
nouns of the first person plural, the one including, the other excluding 
the party addressed ; (5), the use of post-positions, instead of preposi- 
tions ; (6), the formation of verbal tenses by means of participles ; 
(7), the situation of the governing word after the word governed. In 
the particulars above-mentioned the grammar of the North-Indian 
idioms undoubtedly resembles that of the Dravidian family : but the 
argument founded upon this general agreement is to a considerable 
extent neutralised by the circumstance that those idioms accord in the 
very same particulars, and to the very same extent, with the Turkish 
and several other families of the Scythian group. Not one of those 
particulars in which the Dr&vidian languages differ from the Turkish 
or the Mongolian (and there are many such points of difference) has 
as yet been discovered in the North-Indian idioms. For instance, 
those idioms contain no trace of the relative participle which is used 
in all the Dravidian tongues instead of a relative pronoun ; they are 
destitute of the regularly inflected negative verb of the Dravidian 
languages ; and they contain not one of the Dravidian pronouns or 
numerals — not even those which we find in the Scytbic tablets of 
Behistun, and which still survive even in the languages of the Ostiaks 
and Lapps. If the Un-Sanscrit element contained in the northern 
vernaculars had been Drividianwe might also expect to find in their 
vocabularies a few primary Dravidian roots — such as the words for 
'head,' 'hand,' 'foot,' 'eye,' 'ear,' <fec. ; but I have not been able 
to discover any reliable analogy in words belonging to this class. 
The only resemblances which have been pointed out are those which 
Dr. Stevenson has traced in a few words remote from ordinary use, 
and on which, in the absence of analogy in primary roots, and espe- 
cially in grammatical structure, it is impossible to place any depen- 
dence.* The difference between the Dravidian vocabulary and that 
of the languages of Northern India with respect to primary roots 
together with the essential agreement of all the Dravidian vocabularies 
one with another, will appear from the following comparative view of 

* In many instances Dr. Stevenson's lexical analogies are illusory, and dis- 
appear altogether on a little investigation. Thus, he supposes the North Indian 
'pet,' the belly, the vjomb, to be allied to the first word in the Tamil compound 
'petta pillei,' own child. That word should have been written 'pettra' in 
English, to accord with the pronunciation of the Tamil word : the Tamil spelling 
of it, however, is 'pcKBa.' It is the preterite relative participle of 'peE-u' to 
bear, to obtain, signifying that was borne. ' PeE-u,' to obtain, has no con- 
nexion with any word which signifies tlie womb, and its derivative noun 
' p6B-u,' means a thing obtained, a birth, a favour. The aflSnities of this root 
will be inquired into in the Comparative Vocabulary. 


the pronouns of the first and second persons singular. It sometimes 
happens that where one form of the pronoun is used in the nominative, 
another survives in the oblique cases, and a third in the verbal 
inflexions : it also sometimes happens that the ancient form of the 
pronoun differs from the modern. Where such is the case I have 
given all extant forms a place in the list, for the purpose of facilitating 

Pronoun of the first person singular 
Noeth-Indiait Idioms. 

(Sanscrit primary form ' aham ;' 
secondary forms, 'ma,' 'mi,' 'm;' 
Turkish primary form, ' man.') 

Hindi, main 

Bengali, m(ii 

Marathi, mt 

Gujarathi, hura 

Sindhi, mare 

DaiviDiAN Idioms. 

Tamil, n&n, ytn, %n, en 

Canarese, a,n, nS,nu, en, fine 
Tula, yS,n, en, e 

Malayalam, fij3-n, 6n, en, in 
Telugu, n6nu, n^ 
Tuda, 6n, &n, en, ini 

Kdta,, en, e 

Gdnd !lna. Sin 

Ku S,uu, n4, 4nu, e 

Bajaniahal, en 
Uraon, euan 

Pronoun of the second person singular :- 

Noeth-Indiait Idioms. 

(Sanscrit primary forma 'tvam,' 
' tar,' ' te ;' secondary form, ' si,' 
's;' Turkish primary form, 'sen.') 

Hindi, tu», tu, te 

Bengali, tfti, to 

Marathi, tfm, tu, to 

Gujarathi, ttn, ta 

Sindhi, ture, to 

DEiLvmiAN Idioms. 

Tamil, ni, nin, nei, i, 

Canarese, ntn, n!nu, 1, i 

Tulu, 1, ui, nin 

Malayalam, nt, nin, nan 

Telugu, nlvu, nl, nin 

Tuda, nl, nin, i 

Kota, nt, nin, i 

G6nd, ima, n!, i 

Ku tnu, nl, i 

Uraon nien 

Eajamalial nin 

Braliui nt 

Scythic of the Behistun tablets, nl 

From the striking dissimilarity existing between the North-Indian 
pronouns and the Dravidian it is obvious ihat, whatever may have 
been the nature and origin of the Scythic influences' by which they 
•were modified, those influences do not appear to have been Dravidian. 
In the pronouns of almost all the North- Indian languages, the Scythian 
^ termination — the obscure 'm' which forms the final of most of the pro- 
nouns — is at once observed : we cannot fail also to notice the entire dis- 
appearance of the nominative of the Sanscrit pronoun of the first person 


singular, and the substitution for it of the Turkish 'men 'or 'man:' 
but in no connexion, in no number or case, in no compound or verbal 
inflexion do we see the least trace of the peculiar personal pronouns of 
the Dravidian family. Possibly, after all, further research may disclose 
the existence in the northern vernaculars of distinctively Dravidian 
forms and roots : but their existence does not appear to me as yet to 
be proved ; for most of Dr. Stevenson's analogies take too wide a range, 
and where they are supposed to be distinctively Dravidian, they inva- 
riably disappear on examination. I conclude, therefore, that the 
Un-Sanscrit portion of the northern languages cannot safely be placed 
in the same category with the southern, except perhaps in the sense of 
both being Scythian rather than Indo-European. 

With what Group op Languages are the DrAvidian Idioms 

TO BE affiliated? 

Leaving the idioms of Northern India out of consideration for the 
present, as extraneous to the object of this work, and restricting our 
attention to the Dravidian languages, and the question of their affilia- 
tion, the supposition of their Scythian relationship appears to me to 
be that which is most fully borne out by grammatical analysis and the 
comparison of vocabularies. 

In using the word ' Scythian,' I use it in the wide general sense 
in which it was used by Professor Rask, who first employed it to 
designate that group ef tongues which comprises the Finnish, the 
Turkish, the Mongolian, and the Tungusian families. All these lan- 
guages are formed on one and the same grammatical system, and in 
accordance with the same general laws. Their formation of cases, 
moods, and tenses, by the simple agglutination of successive, unchange- 
able suffixes, determine them to be a distinct class of languages— 
a class distinct from the Semitic, which inflects dissyllabic roots by the 
variations of internal vowels, and als6 from the Indo-European idioms, 
which make so extensive a use of technical case-signs and other in- 
flexions, of euphonic modiflcation, and of composition. These languages 
have been termed by some the Tatar or Tartar family of tongues, by 
others the Finnish, the Ural-Altaic, the Mongolian, or the Turanian ; 
but as these terms have often been appropriated to designate one or 
two families, to the exclusion of the rest, they seem to be too narrow 
and too liable to misapprehension to bo safely employed as common 
designations of the entire group. The term ' Spythian' having already 
been used in the Classics in a vague, undefined sense, to denote 
generally the barbarous tribes of unknown origin that inhabited the 


northern parts of Asia and Europe, it seems to be the most appropriate 
and convenient word which is available. Professor Bask, vcho was 
the first by whom this word was employed as a common generic desig- 
nation, was also the first to suggest that the Dravidian or Tamilian 
languages were probably Scythian. He has the merit of having 
suggested this relationship; but the evidence of it was left both by him, 
and by succeeding writers, in a very defective state. In the gramma- 
tical analysis and comparison of the DrS vidian languages on which 
we are about to enter I hope to help forward the solution of a 
problem which has often been stated, and which has been ingeniously 
elucidated up to a certain point, but which has never yet been 
thoroughly investigated. 

The various particulars which were recently adduced to prove that 
the Dravidian family is essentially different from and independent of 
the Sanscrit (each of which will be more fully considered in the sequel, 
under its appropriate head) may also be regarded as proving that 
those languages are intimately related to the Scythian group. 

In this introductory part of the work, I shall content myself with 
adducing in proof of their Scythian relationship the evidence which 
was recently furnished by the translation of the Behistun tablets. 
The inscriptions discovered at Behistun record the political auto- 
biography of Darius Hystaspes in the Old Persian, in the Babylonian, 
and also in the language of the Scythians of the Medo-Persian 
empire ; and the translation of the Scythian portion of those inscriptions 
has thrown new light on the propriety of giving the Dravidian 
languages a place in the Scythian group. The language of the Scj^hic 
tablets, at first supposed to be Median, has been shown in Mr. Norris's 
valuable paper (in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. XV.) 
to be distinctively Scythian. Consequently we are now enabled to 
compare the Dravidian idioms with a fully developed, copious language 
of the Scythian family, as spoken in the fifth century, B.C. : and whilst 
the language of the tablets has been shown to belong generally to the 
Scythian group, it has been found to bear a special relationship to a 
particular family included in that group — the Ugro-Finnish — that very 
family to which the Dravidian dialects have long appeared to me to 
be most nearly allied. The principal points of resemblance between 
the Dravidian dialects and the language of the tablets are as 
follows : — 

(1.) The language of the tablets appears to accord with the Dravi- 
dian tongue in the use of consonants of the cerebral class, ' t,' ' 4>' ^"*^ 
' n,' These sounds exist also in the Sanscrit, but I have long been 
persuaded that the Sanscrit borrowed them from the indigenous Dra- 


vidian languages (vide the section on "Sounds"); and 1 find that 
Mr. Norris has expressed the same opinion. 

(2.) The language of the tablets agrees with the Tamil in regard- 
ing the same consonant as a surd in the beginning of a word, and as a 
sonant in the middle, and in pronouncing the same consonant as a 
sonant when single, and as a surd when doubled. (See in the section 
on " Sounds " illustrations of the Tamil rule.) 

(3.) The genitive case of the language of the tablets is formed by 
suffixing the syllables ' na,' ' ni-na,' or ' inna.' The analogous forms 
of the Dravidian languages are ' ni,' in the Telugu, ' na,' or ' a,' in 
the Gond and Brahui, and 'ni,' in the Tamil. 

(4.) The dative of the tablets is 'ikki' or 'ikka.' There are 
analogies to this both in the Tartar-Turkish and in the Ugriau 
families ; but the form which is most perfectly in accordance with it 
is that of the Dravidian dative suffix 'ku,' 'ki,' 'ka,' &c., preceded, 
as the suffix generally is in Tamil and Malayalam, by an euphonic 'u' 
or ' i,' and a consequent doubling of the ' k.' Compare ' ni-ikka,' to 
thee, in the language of the tablets, with the corresponding Telugu 
' ni-ku,' and the Malayala ' nan-i-kka.' 

(5.) The pronouns of the language of the tablets form their accu- 
sative by suffixing ' un,' ' in,' or ' n.' Compare the Telugu accusative 
inflexion 'nu' or 'ni,' and the Canarese 'am,' ' ann-u,' &c. 

(6.) The only numeral which is written in letters in the Scythian 
tablets is ' kir,' one, with which appears to be connected the numeral 
adjective, or indefinite article, ' ra ' or ' irra.' In Telugu, one is ' oka,' 
and in Tamil, ' or.' From a comparison of all the shapes which this 
numeral has assumed in the various DrS,vidian dialects and in com- 
pounds, I had long ago come to the conclusion that both the Telugn 
and the Tamil forms were probably derived from a common and older 
form, ' okor ' or ' kor,' which I regarded as identical with the Sam- 
oyede ' okur,' one. I can now compare it also with the ' kir ' of the 
tablets. 1'he Ku numeral adjective one is 'ra,' corresponding to the 
Tamil ' orn,' but more closely to the ' ra ' or ' irra,' of the tablets. 

In the language of the tablets all ordinal numbers end in ' im,' in 
Tamil in ' am,' in Samoyede in ' im.' 

(7.) The pronoun of the second person is exactly the same in the 
language of the inscriptions as in the Dr&vidian languages and the 
Brahui : in all it is ' ni.' Unfortunately the plural of this pronoun 
is not contained in the tablet, — the singular having been used instead 
of the plural in addressing inferiors. 

(8.) The language of the tablets, like the Dr&vidian languages, 
makes use of a relative participle. A relative pronoun is used in addi^ 


tion to the relative participle ; but Mr. Norris supposes the use of this 
pronoun to be owing to the imitation of the Persian original. The par- 
ticular particle which is used in the tablets in forming the relative par- 
ticiple differs from that which is generally used in the Dravidian lan- 
guages ; but the position and force of this particle, and the mannei: in 
which the participle formed by it is employed, are in perfect harmony 
with Dravidian usage. Perhaps the use of this relative participle is 
the most remarkable and distinctive characteristic of the grammar of 
every unaltered dialect of the Scythian family. 

(9.) The negative imperative, or prohibitive particle of the tablets 
is ' inni,' in Gond, ' minni.' 

(10.) The only verbal roots which appear to be analogous are the 

following : — 


Language or the Tablets. DbAvidian. 

to gay, nan an or en 

to make known, uri urei, to explain ; aai, to know, 

to go, pori p6, 

a king, ko (the vowel considered k6 or k6n 


The conjugational system of the language of the tablets accords 
with that of the Magyar, the Mordwin, and other languages of the 
Ugrian family, but differs considerably from the Dravidian languages, 
which form their tenses in a simpler manner, by the addition of par- 
ticles of time to the root, and which form the persons of their verbs by 
the addition of the ordinary pronominal terminations to the particles 
of time. Notwithstanding this discrepancy in the inflexions of the 
verbs, the resemblances shown to subsist between the language of the 
tablets and the Dravidian idioms, most of which are in particulars of 
primary importance, fully establish the existence of a radical, though 
remote, connection. From the discovery of these analogies, we are 
enabled to conclude that the Dravidian race, though resident in India 
from a period long prior to the commencement of history, originated 
in the central tracts of Asia — the seed plot of nations ; and that from 
thence, after parting company with the rest of the Ugro-Turanian 
horde, and leaving a colony in Beluchistan, they entered India by way 
of the Indus. 

Whilst I regard the grammatical structure and prevailing charac- 
teristics of the Dravidian idioms as Scythian, I claim for them a posi- 
tion in the Spythian group which is independent of its other members, 
as a distinct family or genus, or at least as a distinct sub-genus of 
tongues. They belong not to the Turkish family, or to the Ugrian, or 


to the Mongolian, or to the Tungusian (each of which families differs 
materially from the others, notwithstanding generic points of resem- 
blance), but to the group or class in which all these families are com- 
prised. On the whole, the Dra vidian languages may be regarded as 
most nearly allied to the Finnish or Ugrian family, with special 
affinities, as it appears, to the Ostiak j and this supposition, which I 
had been led to entertain from the comparison of grammars and voca- 
bularies alone, derives some confirmation from the fact brought to light 
by the Behistun tablets that the ancient Soythic race, by which the 
greater part of Central Asia was peopled prior to the irruption of the 
Medo-Persians, belonged not to the Turkish, or to the Mongolian, but 
to the Ugrian stock. Taking for granted, at present, the conclusive- 
ness of the evidence on which this hypothesis rests, the result at which 
we arrive is one of the most remarkable that the study of comparative 
philology has yet realized. 

How remarkable that the closest and most distinct affinities to the 
speech of the Dravidians of inter-tropical India should be those that 
are discovered in the languages of the Finns and Lapps of Northern 
Europe, and of the Ostiaks and other Ugrians of 'Siberia! and, conse- 
quently, that the Pre-Aryan inhabitants of the Dekhan should be 
proved by their language alone, in the silence of history, in the absence 
of all ordinary probabilities, to be allied to the tribes that appear to 
have overspread Europe before the arrival of the Goths and the Pelasgi, 
and even before the arrival of the Celts ! What a confirmation of the 
statement that ' God hath made of one blood all nations of men, to 
dwell upon the face of the whole earth ! ' 

In weighing the reasons which may be adduced for affiliating the 
Dravidian languages with the Scythian group, it should be borne in 
mind that whilst the generic characteristics of the Scythian languages 
are very strongly marked and incapable of being mistaken, in a vast 
variety of minor particulars, and especially in their vocabularies, the 
languages which are comprised in this family differ from one another 
more widely than the various idioms of the Indo-European family 
mutually differ. The Ugrian and the Turkish families can be proved 
to be cognate almost as certainly as the Gothic and the Sanscrit, or 
the Zend and the Greek ; yet, apart from the evidence of structure 
and vital spirit, and looking only at the vocabulary, and the gram- 
matical materiel, the agreement of any one of the Ugrian dialects with 
any one of the Turkish is found to be very far inferior even to the 
agreement of the Sanscrit and the Celtic,^ — the longest separated and 
most widely differing members of the Indo-European family.^ Thus> 
whilst in nearly all the Indo-European languages the numerals are not 


only similar but the same, — (the Sanscrit word for one and the 
Gaelic word for five are the only real exceptions to the rule of 
general identity), — not only do the numerals of every Scythian family 
differ so widely from those of every other as to present few points of 
connection, but even the numerals of any two dialects of the same 
family are found to differ very widely. Whilst the Sanscrit and the 
Gaelic agree in eight numerals out of ten, and differ in two only 
[one and five) ; the Magyar and the Finnish, though as closely 
allied in point of grammatical structure as the Gaelic and the Welsh, 
have now only the first four numerals in common, and perfectly 
coincide in two numerals only, one and four So great indeed is 
the diversity existing amongst the Scythian tongues, that, whilst the 
Indo-European idioms form but one family, the Scythian tongues are 
not so much a family as a group of families. The Indo-European 
languages may be regarded as forming but a single genus, of which 
each language —(Sanscrit, Zend or Persian, Greek, Latin, Gothic, 
Lithuanian, Slavonic, Armenian, Celtic) — forms a species j whilst the 
languages of the Scythian group, more prolific in differences, comprise 
at least five or six authenticated genera, each of which includes as 
many species as are contained in the solitary Indo-European geniis ; 
besides twenty or thirty isolated languages, which have up to this time 
resisted every effort to classify them. This remarkable difference 
between the Indo-European languages and those of the Scythian stock 
seems to have arisen partly from the higher mental gifts and higher 
capacity for civilisation, with which the Indo-European tribes appear 
to have been endowed from the beginning, and still more from the 
earlier literary culture of their languages, and the better preservation, 
in consequence, of their forms and roots : but, from whatever cause 
this difference may have arisen, it is obvious that in weighing evidences 
of relationship this circumstance must be taken into account; and that 
so minute an agreement of long separated sister dialects of the Scythian 
^tock is not to be expected as in parallel cases amongst the Indor 
European dialects. 

Of late yearS' some inquirers have been inclined to question the 
relationship of the Dravidian languages to the Scythian, either in 
consequence of comparing them with the Tartar or Turkish languages 
alone, to the exclusion of the more nearly allied Ugrian family, or in 
consequence of observing in the Dravidian languages' certain Indo- 
European affinities which seemed inconsistent with the Scythian 
theory. A friend of mine, who is a good Tamil scholar, was so much 
struck with the latter class of analogies that he was led to adopt the 
supposition of the Indo-European relationship of the Pravidian 


tongues. At the very outset of my own inquiries I observed those 
Indo-European analogies myself ; and, rejecting affinities which are 
unreal and which disappear on investigation — (such as the connection 
of the Tamil numerals 'ondru' or 'onnu,' one; 'anju,'/i/e/ ' ettu,' 
eiglil ; with ' un-us,' ' pancha,' and ' ashta,' — a connection which 
looks very plausible, but is illusory (see section on 'Numerals'), — I 
think it capable of satisfactory proof that a small number of the 
grammatical forms of the Dravidian languages, and a more considerable 
number of their roots, are to be regarded as of cognate origin with 
corresponding forms and roots in the Indo-European languages. Not- 
withstanding the existence of a few analogies of this character, the 
most essential parts of the grammar and vocabulary of the Dravidian 
idioms are undoubtedly Scythian, and therefore I have no doubt of 
the propriety of placing those idioms in the Scythian group. Though, 
the majority of Hebrew roots have been proved to be allied to the 
Sanscrit, yet the Hebrew language does not cease to be regarded as 
Semitic rather than Indo-European ; so, notwithstanding some 
interesting analogies with the Sanscrit, the Greek, the Gothic, and the 
modern Persian, which may be discovered on a careful examination of 
the Dravidian tongues, and which will be pointed out in each of the 
succeeding sections, the essential characteristics of those tongues are 
such as to require us to regard them as in the main Scythian. 

In stating that the Dr&vidian languages contain certain roots and 
forms allied to the Sanscrit, and to the Indo-European languages 
generally, it is necessary to preclude misapprehension. During the 
long period of the residence of the Dravidian and Aryan races in the 
same country, the Dravidian vocabularies have borrowed largely from 
the Sanscrit. It is necessary, therefore, to premise that the analogies 
to which I refer are not founded on the existence in the Dravidian 
tongues of Sanscrit derivatives, but are such as are discoverable in the 
original structure and primitive vocabulary of those languages. Whilst 
the Dravidian languages have confessedly borrowed much from their 
more wealthy neighbours, the Sanscrit, in some instances, has not dis- 
dained to borrow from the Dr&vidian: but in general there ia no 
difficulty in distinguishing and eliminating what the one language has 
borrowed from the other ; and the statement which I have now made 
relates not to derivatives, or words which may be supposed to be deri- 
vatives, but to radical, deep-seated analogies which cannot be explained 
on any supposition but that of a partial or distant relationship. In 
most instances the words and forms in which analogies are discoverable 
are allied not to the Sanscrit alone, but to the entire Indo-European 
family ; in not a few instances analogies are discoverable in the Greek 


and Latin, which are not found in the Sanscrit; and in many instances 
in which the Sanscrit appears to exhibit the closest analogy, it is not 
the euphonized, systematised Sanscrit (Samscrita) of written composi- 
tions, but the crude, original Sanscrit, which is discoverable by analysis 
and comparison, the ' Pre-Sanscrit ' of W. von Humboldt. . 

I subjoin here a few illustrations of primitive, underived Indo- 
Europeanisms, which are discoverable in the Dravidian languages. 

I. Analogical grammatical forms. 

(1.) The use of 'n,' as in Greek, to prevent hiatus. 

(2.) The use of ' d ' or ' t ' as the sign of the neuter singular of 
demonstrative pronouns. 

(S.) The existence of a neuter plural, as in Latin, in short 'a.' 

(4.) The formation of the remote demonstrative from a base in ' a,' 
the proximate from a base in 'if as in the New Persian, ' an,' that, 
and ' m,' this. 

(5.) The formation of most preterites, as in the Persian and the 
Germanic tongues, by the addition of ' t ' or ' d.' 

(6.) The formation of some preterites by the reduplication of a 
portion of the root. 

II. Analogical vocables. 

The following are instances of roots which are much more nearly 
allied to the Greek, the Gothic, or some other western language of the 
Indo-European stock, than to the Sanscrit. 

'Ka-y,' to burn: Greek ' Kai'-w ■/ Sanscrit 'kam.' 

'ki,' 'gi,' or 'ge' — (Gond and Can.), to do: Old Persic 'ki; 
Sanscrit ' kri.' 

'mig-n,' much; related words 'migala' and 'mikkili:' Persian 
' mih,' English ' migh-t,' Old High-German ' mih-hil,' Norse ' mikil j' 
Sanscrit ' maha.' 

'mugil,' a cloud: Lithuanian 'migla,' Greek ' 6-fiix^->j> Gothic 
' milh-ma ;' Sanscrit ' mfigha.' 

'pamp-u,' to send : Greek 'n-e/tTr-w .;' no allied word in Sanscrit. 

The illustrations which are given above form only a small portion 
of the analogous forms and roots which will be adduced in the gram- 
matical anal} sis and in the glossarial affinities : they will, however, 
suffice to prove that primitive, deep-seated Indo-European analogies 
are discoverable in the Dravidian languages. They also serve to 
illustrate the statement, that, though the Sanscrit has long been the 
nearest neighbour of the Dravidian tongues, there are not a few 
Dravidian roots which are more nearly allied to the Western Indo- 
European idioms than to the Sanscritic or Eastern. Whilst, therefore, 
I classify the Dravidian family of languages as essentially and in the 



main Scythian, I consider them as of all Scythian tongues those which 
present the most numerous, ancient, and interesting analogies to the 
Indo-European languages. The position which this family occupies, 
if not mid-way between the two groups, is on that side of the Scythian 
group on which the Indo-European appears to have been severed from 
it, and on which the most distinct traces of the original identity of 
the families still remain. If this view be correct (as I think it will 
be shewn to be), the Indo-Europeanisms which are discoverable in the 
Dravidian languages carry us back to a period beyond all history, 
beyond all mythology, not only prior to the separation of the western 
branches of the Indo-European race from the eastern, but prior also to 
the separation of the yet undivided Indo-Europeans from the Scythian 

It is a remarkable circumstance, that in the vocabulary of the 
Dravidian languages, especially in that of the Tamil, a few Semitic 
analogies may also be discovered. In some instances the analogous 
roots are found in the Indo-European family, as well as in Hebrew, 
though the Hebrew form of the root is more closely analogous. For 
example, though we find in Latin, 'ave-o,' to desire, and in Sanscrit, 
'ava,' of which to desire is a subordinate meaning; yet the corre- 
sponding Tamil words '§iva,' desire, and 'aval' (signifying also desire), 
a verbal noun from a lost verb 'av-u,' to desire, seem still more directly 
allied to the Hebrew 'avah,' to dfsire, and the verbal noun 'avvah,' 
desire. In addition, however, to such general analogies as pervade 
several families of tongues, including the Dravidian, there are roots 
discoverable both in the Dravidian languages and in the Hebrew, to 
which I am not aware of the existence of any resemblance in any 
language of the Indo-European family. The following are illustrations 
of such special analogies : — 

maR-u . ... to change, or exchange, to sell; Hebrew 'mur,' to 
exchange; Syriac 'mor,' to buy. 

iuvar .... a woM; Hebrew, 'shiir,' a u/ai^. 

^"r a sharp point; Hebrew, 'kur,' to lore, to piercf. 

iev-(vei) . . . equal, level, right; Chaldee, 'shev-a,' to be equal, 
level, &o.; Hebrew, 'shav-&h,' the same. 

al, il, la, M . . no, not; Hebrew, 'al,' '16,' not; Chaldee, 'Ik,' not. 
Compare also Chaldee 'leth,' it is not, with Telugu 
' Ifidu,' there is not. 


The Semitic analogies observable . in the Tamil are neither so 
numerous nor so important as the Indo-European, nor do they carry 
with them such convincing evidence j but taking them in connexion 
with that more numerous and important class of analogous roots which 
are found in the Indo-European languages, as well as in the Hebrew, 
but of which the Hebrew form is more closely allied to the DrS-vidian 
(see the Glossarial Affinities), these analogies, such as they are, con- 
stitute an additional element of interest in the problem of the origin 
and pre-historical Connections of the Dravidian race. I do not adduce 
these analogies for the purpose of endeavouring to prove the existence 
of any relationship between the Dravidian language and the Hebrew, 
similar to that which subsists between the Dravidian and the Indo- 
European languages. Aware of the danger of proving nothing by 
proving too much, I content myself with merely stating those ana- 
logies, without attempting to deduce any inference from them. The 
Indo-European analogies are so intimately connected with the indi- 
viduality and vital essence of the Dravidian languages, that it seems 
impossible to suppose them to be merely the result of early association, 
however intimate. It is only on the supposition of the existence of a 
remote or partial relationship that they appear to be capable of being 
fully explained. In the case of the Semitic analogies, the supposition 
of a relationship between the two families of tongues does not appear 
to be necessary. All the analogies that exist can be accounted for on 
the hypothesis — a very easy and natural one — that the primitive 
Dravidian nomades were at some early period before their arrival in 
India, associated with a people speaking a Semitic language. 

It seems proper here to notice the remarkable general resemblance 
which exists between the Dravidian pronouns and those of the 
aboriginal tribes of Southern and Western Australia. In whatever 
way it may be explained or accounted for, the existence of a general 
resemblance (which was first pointed out by Mr. Norris), seems to be 
unquestionable; but it has not hitherto been observed that the Austra- 
lian pronouns of the first person, are more nearly allied to the Tibetan 
than to the Dravidian. This will appear from the following compara- 
tive view of the pronoun of the first person singular. 

DeAvidian. AnsTBALiAN Tibetan. Chinese. 

I n^n, nil, fin nga, ngaii, ngatsa, nga, nge, nged ngo 


Whilst the base of this pronoun seems to be closely allied to the 
corresponding pronoun in Tibetan, and in the Indo-Chinese family 
generally, the manner in which it is pluralised in the Australian dia- 

E 2 


lects bears a marked resemblance to the Dravidian, and epecially to 
the Telugu. The Telugu forms its plurals by suffixing ' lu' to the 
singular; the Australian dialects by a similar addition of ' lu,' 'li,' 
' dlu,' ' dli,' &c. In this particular some of the dialects of the North- 
Eastem frontier of India exhibit also an agreement with the Telugu : 
e. g., compare Dhimal ' na,' thou, with ' nyel,' you. In the Australian 
dialects I find the following plurals and duals of the pronoun of the 
first person — we, or we two, ' ngalu,' ' ngadlu,' ' ngadli,' ' ngalata,' &c. 
Compare this with the manner in which the Telugu forms its plural ; 
e.g. 'vad'-u,' he; ' vadlu,' they; and even with .the colloquial Tamil 
plural of the pronoun of the first person; e.g., 'nan,' // 'nanggal,' 

The resemblance between the Australian pronouns of the second 
person, both singular and plural, and those of the Dravidian languages 
is more distinct and special ; and is apparent, not only in the suffixes, 
but in the pronominal base itself. The normal forms of these pronouns 
in the Dravidian languages are — singular, ' nin,' plural, ' nim.' The 
personality resides in the crude root ' ni,' thou ; which is the same in 
both numbers, with the addition of a singular formative 'n' (e. g. ' ni-n,' 
thou), and a pluralising formative 'm' (e.g., 'ni-m,' thous, or you). 
In some cases the pluralising particle ' m' has been displaced, and ' r,' 
which I regard as properly the sign of the epicene plural of the third 
person, has been substituted for it j e. g., 'nir,' you (in Telugu *mir-u'). 
This abnormal form ' nir' is most used in a separate form : the older 
and more regular ' nim' retains its place in compounds, and in the 
imperative of the verb. Whilst ' i' is the vowel which is almost in- 
variably found in the singular of the pronoun of the second person, 
in the plural, ' i' often gives place to ' u,' as in the classical Tamil 
' numa,' your, and the Brahui ' num,' you. It is to be noticed also 
that the modern Canarese has softened ' nim' into ' nlvu ' or ' niwu,' 
in the nominative. 

It is singular, in whatever way it may be accounted for, that in 
each and all of the particulars now mentioned the Australian dialects 
resemble the Dravidian. See the following comparate view. Under 
the Australian head I class the dual together with the plural, as being 
substantially the same. 

DbAviman. Australian. 

thou, nln, nin ninna, nginne, ngintoa, ningte 

you, nim, nim, ntr, num, nlwu aimedoo, nura, niwa, ngurle 

Compare also the accusative of the first person singular in Tamil, 
' ennei,' me, with the Australian accusative ' emmo,' 


The grammatical structure of the Australian dialects exhibits a 
general agreement with the languages of the Scythian group. In the 
use of post-positions instead of prepositions ; in the use of two forms of 
the first person plural, one inclusive of the party addressed, the other 
exclusive ; in the formation of inceptive, causative, and reflective verbs 
by the addition of certain syllables to the root ; and, generally, in the 
agglutinative structure of words and in the position of words in a 
sentence, the dialects of Australia resemble the Dravidian — as also the 
Turkish, the Mongolian, and other Scythian languages : and in the 
same particulars, with one or two exceptions, they differ essentially 
from the dialects which are called Polynesian. 

The brief vocabularies of the Australian dialects which have been 
compiled do not appear to give additional confirmation to the resem- 
blances pointed out above : but it. is difiicult to suppose those resem- 
blances to be unreal, or merely accidental ; and it is obvious that the 
Australian dialects demand (and probably will reward) further exami- 

What Dialect best represents the Primitive Condition of 
THE DbIvidian Tongues ? 

Before entering upon the grammatical comparison of the Dravidian 
dialects, it seems desirable to ascertain where we should look for their 
earliest characteristics. Many have been of opinion that the Shen- 
Tamil, or high dialect of the Tamil language, is to be regarded as the 
best representative of the primitive Dravidian speech. Without under- 
estimating the great value of the Shen-Tamil, I am convinced that no 
one dial^t can be implicitly received as a mirror of Dravidian antiquity. 
A comparison of all the dialects that exist will be found our best and 
safest guide to a knowledge of the primitive tongue from which the 
existing dialects have diverged; and not only the Shen-Tamil, but 
every existing dialect, even the rudest, will be found to contribute its 
quota of help towards this end. The Tamil pronouns of the first and 
second person cannot be understood without a knowledge of the Ancient 
Canarese : and the Ku, one of the rudest dialects, and the grammar of 
which was reduced to writing only a few years ago, is the only dialect 
which throws light on the masculine and feminine terminations of- the 
Dravidian pronouns of the third person. Still it is unquestionable 
that the largest amount of assistance towards ascertaining the primitive 
condition of the Dravidian languages will be aflfbrded by the Tamil, 
and in particular by the Shen-Tamil ; and this naturally follows from 
the circumstance that of all the Dravidian idioms the Tamil was the 
earliest cultivated. 


Peiority op the Literary Cultivation op the Tamil. 

The relatively high antiquity of the literary cultivation of the 
Tamil being a matter of interest considered in itself, irrespective of its 
important bearings on the question of Dravidian comparative grammar, 
I shall here adduce a few of the evidences on which this conclusion 

1 . The Shen-Tamil, which is the language of the poetry and of the 
ancient inscriptions, and which not only contains all the refinements 
which the Tamil has received, but also exhibits to a great extent the 
primitive condition of the language, differs more from the colloquial 
Tamil than the poetical dialect of any other Dravidian idiom differs 
from its ordinary dialect. It differs from the colloquial Tamil so con- 
siderably that it might almost be considered as a distinct language : 
for not only is classical Tamil poetry as unintelligible to the unlearned 
Tamilian as the jEneid of Virgil to a modern Italian peasant, but even 
prose compositions written, in the classical dialect might be read for 
hours in the hearing of a person acquainted only with the collo- 
quial idiom, without his understanding a single sentence. Notwith- 
standing this, High Tamil contains less Sanscrit, not more, than the 
colloquial dialect. It affects purism and national independence ; and 
its refinements are all ab intra. As the words and forms of the Shen- 
Tamil cannot have been invented by the poets, but must at some 
period have been in actual use, the degree in which the colloquial Tamil 
has diverged from the poetical dialect, notwithstanding the slowness 
with which language, like every thing else, changes in the East, is a 
proof of the high antiquity of the literary cultivation of the Tamil. 

2. Another evidence consists in the extraordinary copiousness of 
the Tamil vocabulary, and the number and variety of the grammatical 
forms of the Shen-Tamil. The Shen-Tamil grammar is a crowded 
museum of obsolete forms, cast-off inflexions, and curious anomalies. 
A school lexicon of the Tamil language, published by the American 
missionaries at Jaffna, contains no less than 58,500 words; and it 
would be necessary to add several thousands of technical terms, besides 
provincialisms, in order to render the list complete. Nothing strikes a 
Tamil scholar more, on examining the dictionaries of the other Dravi- 
dian dialects, than the paucity of their lists of synonyms in comparison 
with those of the Tamil. The Tamil vocabulary contains not only those 
words which may be regarded as appropriate to the language, inasmuch 
as they are used by the Tamil alone, but also those which may be con- 
sidered as the property of the Telugu, the Canarese, &c. Thus, the 


word used for home in ordinary Tamil is ' vidu ;' but the vocabulary- 
contains also, and often uses, the word appropriate to the Telugu, 'il' 
(Telugu, 'illu'), and the distinctive Canarese word, 'manei' (Canarese, 
' mana) ; besides another synonym, ' kudi/ which it has in common 
with the whole of the Finnish languages. The grammar and voca- 
bulary of the Tamil are thus to a considerable extent the common 
repository of Dravidian forms and roots : and as the grammars and 
vocabularies of the other dialects contain only the words and forms 
which are now peculiar to themselves, we may conclude that the lite- 
rary cultivation of the Tamil dates from a period prior to that of the 
other idioms, and prior to the final breaking up of the language of the 
ancient Dravidians into lialects. 

3. Another evidence of the antiquity and purity of the Tamil 
consists in the agreement of the Ancient Canarese, the Malayalam, the 
Tulu, and also th« Tuda, Gond, and Ku, with the Tamil, in many of 
the particulars in which the modern Canarese and the Telugu difier 
from it. 

4. The fact that in many instances the forms of the Telugu 
roots and inflexions have evidently been corrupted from the forms of 
the Tamil, is a strong confirmation of the higher antiquity of the 
Tamilian forms. Instances of this will be given in the section on the 
phonetic system of these languages. It will sufiice now to adduce, as 
an illustration of what is meant, the transposition of vowels which 
we find in the Telugu demonstrative pronouns. The true Dravidian 
demonstrative bases are 'a,' remote, and 'i,' proximate; to which are 
suffixed the formatives of the genders, with ' v ' euphonic, to prevent 
hiatus. The Tamil demonstratives are ' avan,' ille, and ' ivan,' hie. 
The Telugu masculine formative answering to the Tamil ' an,' is ' du,' 
or ' adn / and hence the demonstratives in Telugu, answering to the 
Tamil 'avan,' ' ivan,' might be expected to be 'avadu' and 'ivadu 
instead of which we find ' vadu,' ille, and ' vJdn,' hie. Here the 
demonstrative bases ' a ' and ' i,' have shifted from their natural posi- 
tion at the beginning of the word to the middle ; whilst by coalescing 
with the vowel of the formative, or as a compensation for its loss, their 
quantity has been increased. The altered, abnormal form of the 
Telugu is evidently the later one ; but as even the high dialect of the 
Telugu contains no other form, the period when the Telugu grammar 
was rendered permanent by written rules and the aid of written com- 
positions, must have been Subsequent to the origin of the corruption 
in question, and therefore subsequent to the literary cultivation ^'f the 

5. Another evidence of antiquity consists in the great cor- 


ruption of many of the Sanscrit derivatives that are fonnd in the 

The Sanscrit contained in Tamil may be divided into three portions 
of different dates, introduced by three different parties. 

(1.) The most recent portion was introduced by the school of 
Sankara Acharya, the apostle of Advaita, or Vedantic Saivism, and by 
its chief rival, the school of Sri Vaishnava, founded by Ramanuja 
Acharya. The period of the greatest activity and influence of those 
sects extended from about the tenth century, a.d., to the fifteenth ;* 
and the Sanscrit derivatives introduced by the adherents of these 
systems (with the exception of a few points wherein change was un- 
avoidable) are pure, unchanged Sanscrit. 

(2.) The school of writers, partly preceding the above and partly 
contemporaneous with them, by which the largest portion of the 
Sanscrit derivatives that are found in Tamil were introduced, was that 
of the Jainas, which flourished from about the eighth century, a.d., to 
the twelfth or thirteenth. The period of the predominance of the 
Jainas (a predominance in intellect and learning — rarely a predomi- 
nance in political power) was the Augustan age of Tamil literature, 
the period when the Madura College, a celebrated literary association, 
flourished, and when the CuHal, the Chintamani, and the classical voca- 
bularies and grammars were written. Through the intense Tamilic 
nationalism of the adherents of this school, and their jealousy of 
Brahmanical influence, the Sanscrit derivatives which are employed in 
their writings are very considerably altered, so as to accord with Tamil 
euphonic rules. Thus 'loka,' Sanscrit, the world, is changed into 
'ulagu;' 'raja,' a Tdng, into 'arasu;' and 'ra,' night (an abbreviation 
of ' ratri '), into 'iravu.' 

Nearly the whole of the Sanscrit derivatives that are found in 
Telngu, Canarese, and Malayalam belong to the periods now men- 
tioned, or at least they accord on the whole with the derivatives 

* Sankara Acharya, is supposed by Professor Wilson to have lived in the 
eighth or ninth century, a.d. ; but the statement which I have here made relates 
not to Sankara Acharya personally, but to the school of theology and philosophy 
which was founded by him. This school did not reach the acme of its influence 
in the Camatic till the tenth or eleventh century, when it appears probable that 
the great temples of the Camatic were erected. Those temples, the most stupen- 
dous works of the kind in the East, owe their existence to the enthusiasm and 
zeal of the adherents of the system of Sankara Acharya. I have not yet been 
able to ascertain the exa-jt date when any of the more celebrated temples was 
erected,; but from inscriptions in my possession recording donations and endow- 
ments made to them, I am able to state that the greater number of the Saiva 
temples were in existence in the twelfth century, many in the eleventh, and a few 
in the tenth. I have not ascertained the existence of any Vaishnava temple in 
the South before the twelfth century. 


found in the Tamil of those two periods, especially the former or more 
recent. They are divided, according to the degree of permutation or 
corruption to which they have been subjected, into the two classes of 
'tat-sama,' the very same, i.e., words which are identical with 
Sanscrit, and ' tad-bhava,' tlie same nature, i.e., words which are 
derived from a Sanscrit origin, but have been slightly corrupted or 
changed by local influences. 

The former class, or 'tat-sama' words, are scarcely at all altered, 
and generally look like words which have been used only by Brah- 
mans, or which had been introduced into the vernaculars at a period 
when the Sanscrit alphabetical and phonetic systems had become 
naturalised, through the predominance of the later forms of Hinduism. 
Those Sanscrit derivatives which have been altered more considerably, 
or ' tad-bhava ' words, do not appear to have been borrowed directly 
from the Sanscrit, but are represented by Telugu and Canarese gram- 
marians themselves as words that have been borrowed from the Pra- 
crits, or colloquial dialects of the Sanscrit, which were formerly spoken 
in the contiguous Gaura provinces. 

(3.) In addition to the Sanscrit derivatives of the two periods now 
mentioned — the Jaina and the modern Vedantic Saiva periods — the 
Tamil contains many derivatives belonging to the very earliest period 
of the literary culture of the language, — derivatives which are pro- 
bably of an earlier date than the introduction of Sanscrit into the 
other dialects. The derivatives of this class were not borrowed from 
the northern Pracrits (though much more corrupted than even the 
Sanscrit which was borrowed from those Pracrits by the Canarese and 
Telugu), but appear to have been derived from oral intercourse with 
the first Brahmanical priests, scholars, and astrologers ; and probably 
remained unwritten for a considerable time. The Sanscrit of this 
])eriod is not only greatly more corrupted than that of the period of the 
Jainas, but its corruptions are of an entirely different character. The 
Jainas altered the Sanscrit which they borrowed in order to bring it 
into accordance with Tamil euphonic rules; whereas in the Sanscrit of 
the period which is now under consideration — the earliest period — 
the changes that have been introduced are in utter defiance of rule. 
The following are instances of derivatives of this class : 

{a.) The Sanscrit ' sri,' sacred, was altered into ' tiru ;' whilst a 
more recent alteration of the Sanscrit word is into ' stri.' 

(6.) The Sanscrit ' karmam,' a work, is in the Tamil of the more 
modern periods altered into 'karumam' and 'kanmam;' but in the 
older Tamil it was corrupted into 'kam,' a word which is now found 
only in the old compound, ' kam(m)-alan,' an artificer. 


(c.) Several of the names of the Tamil months supply ub with 
illustrations of early corruptions of Sanscrit. The Tamil months, 
though now solar-siderial, are named from the old lunar asterisms ; 
the names of which asterisms, and still more the names of the months 
borrowed from them, are greatly corrupted., the asterism 'p&rva- 
ashadam,' is changed into ' puradam ;' ' ashadam,' also is changed into 
' adam,' from which is formed ' adi,' the Tamil name of the mouth July 
— August. The name of the asterism 'aswini ' has been corrupted into 
•eippasi,' which is the Tamil name of the month October —November. 
The change of ' purva bhadra-pada,' the Sanscrit name of one of 
the asterisms, into ' purattasi ' is still more extraordinary. ' Purva- 
bhadra-pada' was first changed into 'purattadi,' the name of the cor- 
responding asterism in Tamil ; and this, again, by the shortening of 
the first syllable and the change of ' di ' into ' si,' became ' piirattasi,' 
the Tamil month September —October. 

The corresponding names of the asterisms and months in Telugu, 
Canarese, &c., are pure, unchanged Sanscrit ; and hence the greater 
antiquity of the introduction of those words into Tamil, or at least the 
greater antiquity of their use in Tamil written compositions, may safely 
be concluded. 

6. The higher antiquity of the literary cultivation of the Tamil 
may also be inferred from Tamil inscriptions. In Carnataka and 
Telingana, every inscription of an early date, and the majority even 
of modern inscriptions, are written in Sanscrit. Even when the 
characters employed are the Ancient Canarese or the Telugu (characters 
which have been arranged to express the peculiar sounds of the 
Sanscrit), it is invariably found that Sanscrit is the language in which 
the inscription is written, if it is one of any antiquity. In the Tamil 
country, on the contrary, all inscriptions belonging to an early period 
are written in Tamil ; and I have not met with, or heard of, a single 
Sanscrit inscription in the Tamil country which appears to be older 
than the fourteenth century, a.d., though I have obtained facsimiles 
of all the inscriptions that I could hear of in Tinnevelly and South 
Travancore — integral portions of the ancient Pandiyan kingdom. The 
number of inscriptions that I have obtained is about a hundred and fifty. 
They were found on the walls and floors of temples, and on rocks and 
pillars. The latest are written in Grantham, or the character in which 
Sanscrit is written by the Dravida Brahmans ; those of an earlier age 
in an old form of the exisling Tamil character ;* and the earliest in a 

* I hope at some future period to make public the items of historical informa- 
tion which are contained in those inscriptions ; not one of which is included in 


still older character, which appears to have been common to the Tamil 
and the ancient Malayala countries, and is the character in which the 
ancient Sasanas in the possession of the Jews at Cochin and of the Syrian 
Christians in Travancore are written. This character presents some 
points of resemblance to the modern Telugu-Canareae character, and 
also to the character in which some undeciphered inscriptions in Cey- 
lon and the Eastern Islands are written. 

The language of all the more ancient of these inscriptions is Tamil ; 
and the style in which they are written is that of the classical dialect, 
without any of those double plurals {e.g., ' ninggal,' yous, instead of 
'nir,' you), and other unauthorized novelties by which modern Tamil 
is disfigured ] but it is free also from the affected brevity and involu- 
tions of the poetical style. 

As no inscription of any antiquity in Telingana or Carnataca is 
found to be written in the Canarese or the Telugu language, whatever be 
the character that is employed, the priority of Tamil literary culture, 
as well as its national independence to a considerable extent, may 
fairly be concluded. 

I may here remark that the Cochin and Travancore ' sasanas ' or 
tablets which are referred to above, and which have been translated by 
the Rev. Dr. Gundert, prove conclusively, not only the priority of 
Tamil to Malayala literature, but also the derivation of the Malayala 
idiom from the Tamil. The date of those documents is not certainly 
known, but is probably not later than the ninth century, a.d., nor 
earlier than the seventh ; for the technical terms of solar-siderial 
chronology (derived from the Surya-Siddhanta of Arya-bhatta) which 
are employed in these inscriptions were not generally introduced till 
the seventh century. The ' sasanas ' were written at a time when the 

the inscriptions belonging to the Mackenzie collection of MSS. I may, however, 
mention here the following interesting items. — (1.) The generally fictitious 
character of the long lists of kings of Madura, each with a high-sounding Sanscrit 
name, which are contained in the local 'purinas' and other legends, and which 
have been published by Professor Wilson in his Historial Sketch of the Pandiyan 
Kingdom, and by Mr. Taylor in his Oriental Historical MSS. (2.) The veracity 
and accuracy of most of the references to the PS^diya and Ch&la dynasties 
which are contained in the Mah^wanso and other historical records and compila- 
tions of the Singhalese Buddhists. (3.) The fact, or proof of the fact, of the 
conquest of the whole of the P^ndiya country, including South Travancore, by 
the Ch61as in the eleventh century. (4.) The probable identification of Sundara 
P^ndiyan, by whom the Jainas (sometimes erroneously termed Buddhists) were 
finally expelled from Madura, and whom Professor Wilson has placed in the 
eighth or ninth century a.d. with the ' Sender Bandi,' who is said by Marco Polo 
to have been reigning in the southern part of the peninsula during his visit to 
India in the middle of the thirteenth century. The same Sundara P^ndiyan is 
placed by native Hindu authorities some millions of years before the Christian 
era ! 


ChSra or Kerala dynasty was still predominant on the Malabar coast :* 
but though words and forms which are peculiar to the modern 
Malaysia language may be detected in them, the general style of the 
language in which they are written is Tamil ; the inflexions of the 
nouns and verbs are Tamil, and the idiom is mostly Tamil ; and we are 
therefore left to infer that at that period Tamil was the language at 
least of the court and of the educated classes in the Malayala country, 
and that what is now called Malayalam, if it then existed at all, was 
probably nothing more than a rustic patois that was current amongst 
the inhabitants of the hills and jungles in the interior. The fact that 
the 'sasauas' which were given by the ancient Malayala kings to the 
Jews and Syrian Christians, are in the Tamil language, instead of the 
Malayalam, cannot be accounted for from the circumstance of the 
temporary conquest of any part of the Malayala country by the 
ancient kings of Madura ; for the kings in question were Kerala, not 
Paudiya, kings, with KSrala names, titles, and insignia; and it is evi- 
dent from the Greek geographers themselves, from whom alone we 
know anything of this conquest, that it was only a few isolated places, 
on or near the Malabar coast, that were really under the rule of the 
Pandiyas. The only part of the Malayala country which at that 
period could be regarded as belonging bond fide to the Pandiyas, was 
the southern part of ' Paralia,' i.e.. South Travancore, a district which 
has always been inhabited chiefly by Pandiyas, and where to the 
present day the language of the entire people is Tamil, not Malay- 

From the various particulars mentioned above it appears certain 
that the Tamil language was of all the Dravidian idioms the earliest 
cultivated : it also appears highly probable, that in the endeavour to 
ascertain the characteristics of the primitive Dravidian speech, from 
which the various existing dialects have been derived, most assistance 
will be furnished by the Tamil. The amount and value of this assistance 
will appear in almost every portion of the grammatical comparison on 
which we are about to enter. It must, however, be borne in mind, as 
has already been intimated, that neither the Tamil nor any other 

" (ine of them is dated ' in the seventh year of King Eavi Vanna, opposite 
the second year.' By this vexed expression, 'opposite the second year,' 
Mr. Whish supposed that a reference was made to the ' second cycle of a thousand 
years from the building of Quilon," a calculation according to which the present 
year, 1856, would be the thirty-first of the third cycle; but the same expression 
is exceedingly common in the ancient Tamil inscriptions (e. g. ' the seventh year 
of King KulasSkhara, opposite the fifteenth year '); and it denotes, I conceive, the 
year of ' the cycle of sixty ' (which was formerly the prevailing calculation all 
over India and the East) to which the year of the king's reign stands ' opposite,' 
or answers. 


single dialect, ancient or modem, can be impUcitlr/ adopted as a faithful 
representative of the primitive Dravidian tongue. A careful com- 
parison of the peculiarities of all the dialects will carry us up still 
further, probably up to the period of their mutual divergeuce, a period 
long anterior to that of grammars and vocabularies; and it is upon the 
result of such a comparison that most dependence is to be placed. 

Earliest extant Written Relics op the DrIvidian Languages. 

The Dravidian words which are contained in the Ramayana, the 
Maha-bharata, and other Sanscrit poems of undoubted antiquity, are 
so few that they throw no light whatever upon the ancient condition 
of the Dravidian languages, prior to the eighth or ninth centuries 
A.D., the earliest date to which any extant Tamil compositions 
can safely be attributed. The name 'Pandiya' being probably of 
Sanscrit origin, the only Dr&vidian names which are contained in the 
poems referred to, are 'Chola,' corrupted from the Tamilic 'S6ra' 
(commonly pronounced 'Chola'), the collective name of the Tamilians 
of Tanjore, and ' Malaya,' the name of a mountain range, the Western 
Ghauts, which is probably derived from the Dravidian 'mala,' a 

It is a remarkable circumstance, that the largest stock of primitive 
Dravidian words which is contained in any authentic written document 
of ancient times — the earliest extant traces of the existence of the 
Dravidian languages, as distinguished from the Sanscrit — are those 
which are contained in the notices of the Greek geographers, Ptolemy, 
Strabo, and the author of the Periplus Maris Erythraei; including also 
the Natural History of Pliny. Many of the names and places and tribes 
which are recorded by those geographers, not long after the commence- 
ment of the Christian era, are identical, letter for letter, with the names 
which are now in use. Several of those names have become obsolete, or 
cannot now be identified : but the signification of the compound words 
of which they consist cannot be mistaken ; and in several of them we 
can detect the operation of some interesting dialectic peculiarity or 
euphonic rule which is still characteristic of these languages. I subjoin 
a few examples of Dravidian words of this class which are recorded 
by the Greeks. 

(1.) 'o TlavSiwi/'' — ' oi nai/^ioVes,' 'Pandiya,' is probably a word of 
Sanscrit origin, but the masculine termination which is given by the 
Greeks is unmistakeably Tamil. The Tamilic sign of the masculine 
singular is 'an ;' consequently 'o IlavScwv' (and still better the plural 


form of the word, 'navSiove^,' which is applied to the subjects of the 
Pandiya monarchy), faithfully represents the Tamil nominative sin- 
gular 'Pandiyau.' 

The form of the masculine singular in Ancient Canarese which 
corresponds to the Tamil 'an,' is 'am:' in Telugu it is 'udu,' so that 
'Pandiyudu' in Telugu, answers to 'Pandiyau' in Tamil. Consequently, 
we learn that, as early as the Christian era, the Tamil differed dialec- 
tlcally from the other Dravidian idioms, and that its mode of forming 
the masculine singular was then the same as it is now. 'P&ndiya' was 
not the name of any one king, but the titular name of the dynasty of 
Madura (MoSovpa fiaaiXetov TiavSiovis). The race were ' P&ndis,' or 
'P4ndiyas' (TravSwve?); the king, the 'Pandiyan' (o TlavScwv), or the 
'Pandiya Deva.' It is a proof of the advanced social position which 
was occupied by the Pandiyas, that after the termination of the 
political relations which subsisted between the Greeks of Alexander's 
time, and the princes of the Punjaub, the Pandiyas were the only 
Indian princes who perceived the advantages of an European alliance. 
Two embassies were sent by the Pandiyan king to Augustus : the first 
(which is mentioned in the Eusebian fragments) was received by 
Augustus at Tarragonaj the second is mentioned by Strabo. The 
friendship of the Romans was sought by only one other Hindu prince, 
o Kr/pofidSpos, the King of Ch^ra (or Kerala), who was also a Drividian, 
and probably a Tamilian. 

(2.) ' KoTTwpo.' This is the name of a place in the country of the 
'Aii,' or 'Paralia' (identical with South Travancore), which is called 
'Kottiara Metropolis' by Ptolemy, 'Cottora' by Pliny. Undoubtedly 
the town referred to is 'Kottaaa,' or, as it is ordinarily spelled by 
Europeans, 'Kotaur,' the principal town in South Travancore, and now, 
as in the time of the Greeks, distinguished for its commerce. The 
name of the place is derived from 'K6d-u,' Tarn., a line of circumval- 
lation, a foHifimUon, and 'aRii,' a river. It is a, rule in the Tamil and 
the MalayMam, that when a word like ' Kod' is the first member of a 
compound, the final 'd' must be doubled for the purpose of giving the 
word the force of an adjective : it is another rule that sonants when 
doubled become surds. Consequently the compound 'k6d'-aRa' becomes 
by rule 'kott-aRa.' It is interesting to perceive that in the time of the 
Greeks the same peculiar phonetic rules existed which are now in opera- 
tion. It is also worth noticing that the Greek writers represent the last 
syllable of the name of the town, not as 'aRu,' but as 'aRa.' The 
Tamil has 'aRu,' the Malay&lam '&Ha.' At Kotaur, the dialectic pecu- 
liarities of the Malayala language begin to supersede those of the 


Tamil ; and this appears to have been the case even in the time of the 

(3.) ''ApKaTov /Saff/Xetov.' The place referred to by this name was 
supposed by one of the editors of Ptolemy to be Bijnagar; which would 
accord well enough, it is true, with the position which Ptolemy gives it, 
midway between the sources of the Caveri and Gondwana : but the 
resemblance of the name to that of Arcot, and the circumstance that 
the place is represented as the capital of 'the nomadic Soras' (Siu/sai), 
indicate the propriety of identifying it with Arcot in the Carnatic : for 
not only was Arcot included in the ancient Sora or Ch61a Kingdom, 
but there is a distinct, uniform tradition, that the inhabitants of that 
part of the Carnatic which lies between Madras and the Ghauts, including 
Arcot, were ' Kurumbars,' or wandering shepherds — nomades — for 
several centuries after the Christian era. If this identification is 
correct, we have another instance of the antiquity of the existing 
dialectic peculiarities of the Tamil ; for the second syllable of the name 
Arcot, (properly 'aRu-kadu,' the jungle on the river), viz., 'kad-u,' 
a jungle, is peculiar to the Tamil,— the corresponding word used in 
Telugu being 'atavi' or 'adavi.' 

Ptolemy gives the name of the people of the neighbouring country 
more accurately than the Sanscrit writers. They are called in Tamil 
'Soras;'*' Ch61a8 in Sanscrit; but S6rae, and also S6rigi, or Sorigeti 

* I am doubtful whether the eastern coast of India derived from this word 
(' S6ra ') the name of the 'Coromandel ' coast, by which it is styled by Europeans. 
Undoubtedly Fra Paolo & St. Bartolomaeo was wrong in supposing it to be derived 
from ' ch61a-maiidalam,' the millet country. 'Ch6}am' is not millet, but maize; 
and compound3 of indigenous Dr^vidian words like ' ch61am ' and Sanscrit 
words like ' maudalam ' are ordinarily inadmissible ; and this compound in 
particular is quite' unknown. ' S6rarma<ndalam,' the country of the Sdras, who 
are called ' Chdlas ' in Sanscrit, is a compound which is in actual use, like ' P^udi- 
mandalam,' the country of the PAndiyaa, and ' S^ra-mandalam,' the country of the 
Siras, or KSrala : and doubtless this is the word with which Paolo's informants 
had supplied him. This derivation of the word ' Coromandel,' viz. from 
' S6rarmandalam,' has generally been accepted ; but there is this serious objection 
to it, that the name of that part of the eastern coast— from Cuddalore to Madras 
— with which Europeans first became acquainted, is ' Tonda-mandalam,' not 
' S6ra-mandalam ;' in addition to which, these terms are rarely iised by the natives 
themselves': their use is restricted to classical compositions, and it is extremely 
unlikely that the first European mariners and factors ever heard of them. We 
have, therefore, to seek for some more trite, easy, and natural derivation of the 
word ' Coromandel ;' and this I think we find in ' Karu-manal ' (literally blcKh 
sand), the name of a small village on the eastern coast near Pnlicat (the first 
Dutch settlement), which is invariably up to the present day pronounced and 
written ' Coromandel ' by the Europeans who are resident in Madras ; some of 
whom annually take refuge in 'Karumanal ' or 'Coromandel ' during the hot land 
winds. Coromandel is often the first point which is sighted by ships from Europe 
bound to Madras ; and the objects on which my own eyes first rested on approach- 
ing the coast in January, 1838, were the cocoa-nut trees of Coromandel and the 
distant Nagari hills. 


by tlie Greeks. The two last names must have been applied by 
Ptolemy to the Soras of the Tanjore delta ; for the Caveri flowed 
through the country of the Sorigi, and 'Xa/3^pos,' the emporium at the 
moutt of the Cavfiri (which he calls 'Xa^ijpi^,'), belonged to them. The 
S6ras are sometimes in poetical Tamil called 'S6ragas' or 'Soriyas,' 
and their country 'S6ragam,' — 'g' being optionally added to many roots 
as an euphonic. The 'r' of the Tamil word 'S6ra,' is a peculiar sound, . 
not contained in any of the other Dravidian dialects ; in which it is 
generally represented by '1' or 'd;' in Sanscrit and in the Pali of the 
' Maha-wanso' by '1.' The more accurate spelling of this word given 
by the Greeks shews that then, as now, the use of this peculiar vocalic 
'r' was a dialectic characteristic of the Tamil. 

(4.) Modogalingum. Pliny observes, " Insula in Gange est ... . 
Modogalingum nomine." The same island, country, or city (for the 
description of it is somewhat obscure) is called by Ptolemy, Triglyphum 
or Trilingum. Though the place referred to is said to be " on the 
Ganges," it may have been considerably to the south : for the Godavery 
has always been considered by Hindus as a branch of the Ganges, or 
as mythologically identical with it ; and the Greeks would most 
probably be taught to regard it in the same light. At all events, from 
the circumstance that the Andhras and Calingas (the two ancient divi- 
sions of the Telugu people) are represented by the Greeks as Gangetic 
nations, and as living in or near Triglyphum, it may be considered as 
certain that Triglyphum, Trilingum, or Modogalingum, was identical 
with Telingana, or Trilingam, 'the country of the three lingas;' 
from which word, indeed, the modern term ' Telinga' is ordinarily 
derived by native grammarians. The derivation of ' Telugu," 
' Telungu,' or ' Telinga', from ' Trilinga' is repudiated by Mr. C. P. 
Brown ; who also states that the name ' Trilinga' is not contained in any 
of the ancient Sanscrit lists of countries. This statement is probably 
correct : nevertheless, the ancient use of the appellation ' Trilingam,' 
and the identity of the names Trilingam and Modogalingum, are proved 
by the evidence of Ptolemy and Pliny, as conclusively as if they had 
■been mentioned by Sanscrit writers. This being the case, the Telugu 
name and language are fixed near the mouths of the Ganges, or at 
least between the Ganges and the Godavery, about the commencement 
of the Christian era ; and not only so, but the existence of the dialectic 
peculiarities of the Telugu, as early as the time of the Greek geogra- 
phers, may safely be inferred ; inasmuch as ' modoga,' the word used 
by Pliny, is the ancient word for three (' moda,' or ' modoga'), answer- 
ing to the Canarese ' muru,' the Tamil ' munru ' (pronounced mun- 
dru), and the modern Telugu ' mudu." The word used by Pliny being 


exclusively a Telugu word, we may conclude that at that early 
period the dialectic peculiarities of the Telugu, one of which 
IS the use of 'd' where the other dialects hare 'r,' were already 
in existence. 

(5.) KapoDpa pamXeiov KijpoPoSpov. The place referred to is evi- 
dently Karur, a town in the Coimbatoor country, which was formerly 
the capital of the Ch^ra dynasty. ' Cerobothrus' is given as the 
titular name of the king of the country (ordinarily called by Tamilians 
'the Cheran'), whose rule extended over Coimbatoor, part of Mysore, 
and a portion of the Malabar coast. Probably 'Cerobothrus' is identical 
with ' Chera-putra,' son of Ohera. The Greek spelling of the word 
tc'Tfpo confirms the supposition of the identity of the Drividian title of 
the dynasty. Sera or Chera, with the Sanscrit 'Kerala,' and the 
greater antiquity of the latter mode of spelling. 

The name Kapodpa, in Tamil ' Karur,' is derived from 'kar,' black, 
and ' ur,' a town. The exact agreement of the Greek word with the 
Tamil is remarkable. 

It is deserving of notice that in Ptolemy's lists of names of places 
in India the termination ovp or ovpa, equivalent to the Dravidian 'ur,' 
a town, (Anglice, 'oor or 'ore'), is frequently met with, not only in 
the southern part of the peninsula, but as far north as the months of 
the Ganges. 

(6.) oi Kapeot. The Carei of Ptolemy were a people who inhabited 
the southern part of Tinnevelly, in whose country part of the ' Para- 
lia' of the author of the Peripltcs seems at one time to have been in- 
cluded. 'Kare' or 'karei' is the Tamil word for coast or shore (from 
the verbal root ' karei,' to he melted down, — to he washed away), and is 
obviously identical in meaning with the Greek UdpaXia. Up to the pre- 
sent time part of the Tinnevelly coast — that part where I have myself 
resided and laboured for thirteen years — is called by the same name 
(' karei,' the shore) by which the whole southern coast of Tinnevelly 
and Travancore appears to have been known to the Greeks ; and a 
caste of fishermen found farther north are called 'karei-(y)-ar,' ooast- 

(7.) KaWir'/iKov. This is one of the names given by Ptolemy to 
the promontory of Kwpv. This promontory is supposed by some to be 
Cape Comorin ; but as it is said to be situated opposite the most 
northern point of Ceylon, and to form the boundary between the 
' Gangetic Gulf,' or Bay of Bengal, and the ' Orgalic' or ' Agaric 
Gulf,' the Gulf of Manaar, it is evidently Point Calimere. The Tamil 
name of this point, from which ' Calimere' has been corrupted, is 
' kalli-meiu,' the cactus eminence ; and it is evident that the first part 



of the Greek name KaXXi'^iicov is identical with the Tamil 'kalli,' 
cactus, the first part of the name by which the place is now called. 

(8.) Amongst many words of less importance of which the Tamil 
signification can be easily recognised, I subjoin the following : — UaXovpd 
(obviously from ' pal,' milk, and ' ur,' a town), a place in the Bay of 
Bengal, possibly at the mouth of the 'Palar,' Milk-river, a river 
which flows into the Bay of Bengal a little to the south of Madras : 
Tevvdr^opa (from the Tamil 'ten,' south, and the Sanscrit 'nagara,' 
a city), a town in the Sora country : also the word opv^a, rice, which 
is obviously derived from the Tamil ' arisi,' rice deprived of the hwk; 
this being the state in which rice was then, as now, bought up in India 
for exportation to Europe.* 

(9.) During the period in which the Greeks traded with India, the 
names of places and tribes recorded by them, and various circum- 
stances which they have related, prove that the Brahmana had then 
established themselves in the Carnatic, and given names to some of 
the principal places. ' MoSovpa ' (Madura) is a Sanscrit word, signi- 
fying the sweet city ; the name of the Caveri, ' "^a^ripli^ the yellow 
river, is claimed by the Sanscrit, though possibly Tamil ; and 

* The Hebrew word for pea-fowl, which is ' thuki ' in the Book of Kings, 
• thftki ' in Chronicles, is certainly Dra,vidian. The pea-fowl is an Indian bird. 
It was probably on the Malabar or Western coast of India that the pea^fowl was 
procured by (or for) Solomon's servants ; and the old classical name of the fowl 
in Tamil is ' t5kei,' dialecticallj pronounced ' tdgei.' In modem Tamil ' tfikei ' 
generally signifies only tlie peacock's tail, or any similar tail-feathers ; but in 
old classical Tamil it signifies also the peacock itself. If this identification is 
correct, the Hebrew word referred to is the oldest specimen of the Dr^vidian 
languages which is extant in any written document. The Arabic word for the 
peacock, ' tawas,' and the Armenian ' taus,' are probably derived from the same 
source ; as also the Greek ' raoig,' with which, by the insertion of the dtgamma, 
some connect the Latin ' pavo.' I cannot connect the Tamil ' t8g-ei,' as Max 
Miiller does, with the Sans. ' sikhin ;' for it is regarded by Dr^vidian lexico- 
graphers as a pure Tamilian word ; and the Tamil corruption of ' sikhin ' is 
' sigi,' a peacock, which is a recognised Sans, derivative, 'tdg-ei' is not in Canarese 
or Telngu. 

Huge old specimens of the Baobab, or Adansonia Digitata, an African tree, of 
which the Hindus do not know even the name, may still be seen in or near 
various sites of foreign commerce in the extreme south of the Indian peninsula : 
e. g., in K6tt&r, near Cape Comorin, and near Tutocorin in Tiunevelly — possibly 
on the site of the ancient Kolkhi. By what race of foreign merchants were those 
trees planted % The great age to which they are known to grow (they are called 
by Humboldt ' some of the oldest specimens of organic life on the globe ') will 
admit of the supposition that they were brought from the mouth of the Eed Sea 
by the Grecian navigators, or even by the Phenicians and ' the servants of 
Solomon' themselves. 

May it not have been by the same people that the Hebrew word ' eak,' a 
sack (in Tamil 's^kk-u,' in Malayyam 'cMkka'), was introduced into Southern 
India I This word, though so long naturalised that it is considered by native 
scholars to be indigenous, is unknown to the Telugu and Canarese, as well as to 
the Sanscrit. It is found only where the Baobab is found, and where the Hebrew 
name for the peacock had its origin. 


Kofidpia uKpov (Cape Comorin) is certainly derived from the Sanscrit 
' kumari. a virgin, a name of the goddess Durga. This word is com- 
monly pronounced in Tamil ' kumari ; and in the vulgar dialect of the 
people residing in the neighbourhood of the CapCj a virgin is not 
'kumari,' or 'kumari/ but 'kumar,' pronounced 'komar.' It is 
remarkable that this vulgar corruption of the Sanscrit is identical with 
the name which is given to Cape Comorin by the author of the Feriplus. 
He says, ' After this, there is another place called ' Kofmp,' where 
there is a fort and harbour, where also people come to bathe and ' 
purify themselves : . . . . for it is related that a goddess was once 
accustomed to bathe there monthly.' This monthly bathing in honour 
of the goddess Durga or Parvati, is still continued at Cape Comorin, 
but is not practised to the same extent as in ancient times. Cape 
Comorin formerly ranked as one of ' the five renowned sacred bathing 
places' (a representation which accords with the statement of the 
author of the Peripltis), but the number of visitors to it now is 
extremely small. 

Though the Greek geographers have not given us any information 
respecting the languages of India, beyond what is furnished by the 
names of places contained in their works, the information derived 
from those lists is exceedingly interesting. The earliest extant traces 
of the Drdvidian languages which possess reliable authority, are those 
with which we hare been furnished by the ancient Greeks ; and from 
an examination of the words which they have recorded, we seem to 
be justified in drawing the conclusion, not only that the Dravidian 
languages have remained almost unaltered for the last two thousand 
years, but also that the principal dialects that now prevail had a sepa- 
rate existence at the commencement of the Christian era, and prevailed 
at that period in the very same districts of country in which :we now 
find them. The art of writing had probably been introduced, the 
grammar of the Dravidian languages had been arranged, and some 
progress made in the art of composition, several centuries before the 
arrival of the Greek merchants;* and the fixity with which those 
languages appear to have been characterised ever since that period is 
in perfect accordance with the history of all other Asiatic languages, 
from the date of the commencement of their literary cultivation. 

* The arrival in ladia of those Grecian merchants, appears to have been con- 
temporaneous with the conquest of Egypt by the Romans. The earliest Roman 
coins found in India are those of the reign of Augustus. A very large number 
of Roman imperial 'aurei' were lately found on the Malabar coast; upwards 
of thirty types of which, commencing with the earlier coins of Augustus, and 
including many of Nero, were described by me in a pamphlet published at 
Trivandrum in 1851 by the Eajah of Travancore, to whom the coins belonged. . 

F 2 


If the Dravidian family of langliages is allied, as I believe it to 
be, to the Scytliian families, it may justly claim to be considered as 
one of the oldest members of the group. With the exception of the 
language of the Behistun tablets, no words belonging to any other 
Scythian language can be traced up to the Christian era. Mr. Norris 
says, 'I know of nothing written in the Magyar language earlier 
than the fifteenth century, and of the other Ugrian languages we have 
nothing above fifty or sixty years old The great Finnish heroic 
poem, 'the Kalevala,' may be of any age, but as it appears to have 
been brought down to us only by word of mouth, it has naturally 
varied, like all traditional poetry, with the varying forms of the lan- 
guage.' The Uigurs, or Oriental Turks, acquired the art of writing 
from the Nestorian Christians, the Mongolians from the Uigurs ; so 
that the literary cultivation of neither of those languages is to be 
compared in point of antiqnity with that of the Dravidian. Amongst 
the earliest records of Scythian tongues that have been discovered, is 
a brief list of words which are recorded by the Chinese as peculiar to • 
the old Turks of the Altai ; and of eight words contained in this list, 
all of which are found in the modern dialects of the Turkish, probably 
three, certainly two, are Dravidian. Those words, as given by the 
Chinese, are : — 

TuitKiSH OP THE Altai. Modeen Turkish. Tamil. 

black, koro quaiS kar-u 

old, kori gori klra 

chieftain, kto kha,n k6n or kd 

I am strongly inclined to consider the last Tamil word, ' kon' or 
' ko,' to be identical with the ' kan,' ' khan,' or 'khagan ' of the Turco- 
Mongolian languages. The Ostiak, an Ugrian dialect, has 'khonj' 
and the word signifying king, which is found in the Scythic version of 
the Behistun tablets, and which certainly commences with 'k,' or 'kh,' 
is conjecturally written by Mr. Norris 'ko.' In the old Tamil in- 
scriptions I have invariably found ' ko ' or 'k6n,' instead of the San- 
scrit ' Raja :' but the word has become obsolete in modern Tamil, 
except in compounds, and in the honorific title 'kon,' which is assumed 
by shepherds. This conjunction of meanings {king and shepherd) is 
very interesting, and reminds one of the Homeric description of kings 

as * TTOifieve^ Xaaij/. 

The Tamil literature now extant enables us to ascend, in studying 
the history of the language, only to the eighth or ninth century, a.d.: 
the Dravidian words handed down to us by the Greeks carry us up, as 


we have seen, to the Christian era. Beyond that period, the compa- 
rison of existing dialects is our only available guide to a knowledge of 
the primitive condition of the Dravidian language. The civilization of 
the Tamil people^ together with the literary cultivation of their lan- 
guage, commenced probably about the sixth or seventh century, B.C., 
but the separation of the primitive Dravidian speech into dialects 
must have taken place shortly after the arrival of the Dravidians in 
the districts which they at present inhabit — an event of unknown, 
but certainly of very great antiquity. 

The Irish and the Welsh dialects of the Celtic, the Old High and 
the Old Low dialects of the Teutonic, and the Finnish and Magyar 
dialects of the Ugrian, had probably become -separate and distinct 
idioms before the tribes by which those dialects are spoken settled in 
their present habitations ; but the various Dravidian dialects which 
are now spoken appear to have acquired a separate existence subse- 
quently to the settlement of the Dravidians in the localities in which 
we now find them. Supposing that their final settlement in their 
present abodes ia Southern India took place shortly lafter the Aryan 
irruption (though I think it probable that it took place before), every 
grammatical form and root which the various dialects possess in 
common, may be regarded as at least coeval with the century subse- 
quent to the arrival of the Aryans. Every form and root which 
the Brahui possesses in common with the Dravidian tongues may be 
regarded as many centuries older still. The Brahuic analogies enable 
us to ascend to a period anterior to the arrival in India of the Aryans 
(which cannot safely be placed later than 1600, b.c); and they furnish 
us with the means of ascertaining, in some degree, the condition of the 
Dravidian language before the Dravidians had finally abandoned their 
original abodes in the central tracts of Asia. 

Political and Social Relation of the Pbimitive DrXvidians to 
THE Aryan and Pre-Aryan Inhabitants of Northern India. 

The arrival of the Dravidians in India was undoubtedly anterior 
to the arrival of the Aryans, but there is some difliculty in determining 
whether the Dravidians were identical with the Scythian aborigines 
whom the Aryans found in possession of the northern provinces, and 
to whom the vernacular languages o Northern India are indebted for 
their Un-Sanscrit element, or whether they were a distinct and more 
ancient race. The question may be put thus ;— Were the Dravidians 
identical with the ' Dasyus ' and ' Mlechchas,' by whom the progress 
of the Aryans was disputed, and who were finally subdued and incor- 


porated with the Aryan race as their ' Sudras,' or serfs and depen- 
dents? or were they a race unknown to the Aryans of the first age, 
and which had already heen expelled from Northern India, and driven 
southwards towards the extremity of the Peninsula before the Aryans 
arrived 1 This question of the relation of the Dravidians to the primi- 
tive Sudras, or Aryanised Mlfechchas, of Northern India is confessedly 
involved in obscurity, and can be settled only by a more thorough 
investigation than any that has yet been made of the relation of the 
Dravidian languages to the Un-Sanscrit element contained in the 
northern vernaculars. We may, indeed, confidently regard the Dra- 
vidians as the earliest inhabitants of India, or at least as the earliest 
race that entered from the North-West, or crossed the Indus; but it is 
not so easy to determine whether they were the people whom the 
Aryans found in possession, or whether they bad already been expel- 
led from the northern provinces by the pre-bistoric irruption of another 
Pythian race. Some recent inquirers bold the identity of the Dra- 
vidians with the primitive Sudras ; and much may be said in support 
of this hypothesis. I am not competent to pronounce a decided opinion 
on a point which lies so far beyond my own province, but the diffe- 
rences which appear to exist between the Dravidian languages and the 
Scythian under-stratura of the northern vernaculars induce me to 
incline to the sapposition that the Dravidian idioms belong to an older 
period of the Scythian speech — the period of the predominance of the 
Ugro-Finnish languages in Central and Higher Asia, anterior to the 
westward migration of the Turks and Mongolians, If this supposition 
is correct, it seems to follow that the progenitors of the Scythian por- 
tion of the Sudras and mixed classes now inhabiting the northern and 
western provinces must have made their way into India subsequently 
to the Dravidians, and also that they must have thrust out the Dra- 
vidians from the greater part of Northern India, before they were in 
their turn snbdued by a new race of invaders. By whomsoever the 
Dravidians were expelled from Northern India, and through what 
causes soever they were induced to migrate southward, I feel persuaded 
that it was not by the Aryans that they were expelled. Neither the 
subjugation of the Cholas, Pandiyas, and other Dravidians by the 
Aryans, nor the expulsion from Northern India of the races who after- 
wards became celebrated in the South, as Pindiyas, Ch61as, Keralas, 
Calingas, Andhras, &c., is recognised by any Sanscrit authority, or any 
Dravidian tradition. Looking at the question from a purely Dravidian 
point of view, I am convinced that the Dravidians never had any rela- 
tions with the primitive Aryans but those of a peaceable and friendly 
character ; and that if they were expelled from Northern India, and 


forced to take refuge in Gondwana and Danda-KS.ranya, the great 
Dravidian forest, prior to the dawn of their civilisation, the tribes that 
subdued and thrust them southwards must have been Pre- Aryans. 

Those Pre-Aryan Scythians, by whom I have been supposing the 
Dravidians to have been expelled from the northern provinces, are not 
to be confounded with the Koles, Sontals, Bhilla, Doms, and other 
aboriginal tribes of the North. Possibly these tribes had fled into the 
forests from the Dravidians prior to the Pre-Aryan invasion, just as the 
British had taken refuge in Wales before the Norman conquest. It 
is also possible that the tribes referred to had never crossed the Indus 
at all, or occupied Northern India, but had entered it, like the Bhutan 
tribes, by the North-East, and had passed from the jungles and swamps 
of Lower Bengal to their present abodes, — taking care always to keep 
on the outside of the boundary line of civilisation. At all events, we 
cannot suppose that it was through an irruption of those forest tribes 
that the Dravidians were driven southwards ; nor does the Un-Sanscrlt 
element which is contained in the northern vernaculars appear to 
accord in any degree with the peculiar structure of the Kole languages. 
The tribes of Northern India whom the Aryans gradually incorporated 
in their community, as Sudras, whosoever they were, must have been an 
organized and formidable race. They were probably identical with 
the ' .(Ethiopians from the East,' who, according to Herodotus, were 
brigaded with other Indians in the army of Xerxes, and who diflGered 
from other ^Ethiopians in being ' straight-haired.' 

I admit that there is a difficulty in supposing that the Dravidians, 
who have proved themselves greatly superior to the Aryanised Sudras 
of Northern India in mental power, independence, and patriotic feeling, 
should have been expelled from their original possessions by an irrup- 
tion of the ancestors of those very Sudras. It is to be remembered, 
however, that the lapse of time may have eflfected a great change in 
the warlike, hungry, Scythian hordes that rushed down upon the first 
Dravidian settlements. It is also to be remembered that the dependent 
and almost servile position to which this secondary race of Scythians 
was early reduced by the Aryans, whilst the more distant Dravidians 
were enjoying freedom and independence, may have materially altered 
their original character. It is not therefore so improbable as it might 
at first sight appear, that after the Dravidians had been driven across 
tlie Vindhyas into the Dekhan by a newer race of Scythians, this new 
race, conquered in its turn by the Aryans and reduced to a dependent 
position, soon sank beneath the level of the tribes which it had ex- 
pelled; whilst the Dravidians, retaining their independence in the 
southern forests into which they were driven, and submitting eventually 


to the Aryans not as conquerors, but as colonists and instructors, 
gradually rose in the social scale, and formed communities and states 
in the Dekhan, rivalling those of the Aryans in the north.* 

Mr. Curzon {Joui-nal of Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 16) recently 
attempted to meet the difficulty which I have stated by supposing that 
the Tamilians were never in possession of Arya-vartta, or Northern 
India, at all ; but that they were connected with the Malay race, and 
came to Southern India by sea, from the opposite coast of the Bay of 
Bengal, or from Ceylon. This theory seems, however, perfectly gra- 
tuitous ; for it has been proved that the languages of the Gonds and 
Kus are Dravidian, equally with the Tamil itself ; that the Rajmahal 
is also substantially Dravidian ; and that the Brahui partakes so 
largely of the same character (not to speak of the language of the 
Scythic tablets of Behistun), as to establish a connection between the 
Dravidians and the ancient races we^t of the Indus. It has also heeu 
shewn that in the time of Ptolemy, when every part of India had long 
ago been settled and civilised, the Dravidians were in quiet possession, 
not only of the south-eastern coast, but of the whole of the Peninsula, 
up nearly to the mouths of the Ganges. 

It is undeniable that immigrations from Ceylon to the southern 
districts of India have occasionally taken place. The Teers (properly 
' Tivar,' islanders) and the Ilavars, ' Singhalese,' (from 'Ilara,' Geylmt, 
a word which has been corrupted from the Sanscrit ' Sijrehalam,' or 
rather from the Pali 'Sihalam,' by the omission of the initial 's'), 
both of them Travancore castes, are certainly immigrants fc-om Ceylon ; 
but these and similar immigrants are not to be considered as Singha- 
lese, in the proper sense of the term, but as offshoots from the Tamilian 
population of the northern part of the island. They were the partial 
reflux of the tide which peopled the northern and western parts of 
Ceylon with Tamilians. Bands of marauding Tamilians ('Sollies,' 
'Pandis,' and other 'Damilos,' i. e, Cholas, Pandiyas, and other 

* 'Dekhan' ia a corruption of the Sanscrit ' dakshina/ the south, literally the 
right {'dexter'), an appellation which took Its rise from' the circumstance that the 
Brahman in determining the position of objects, looked towards the East, which 
he called 'pftrva,' the opposite region, when whatever lay to the southward was to 
the right. The South, as the region of freedom, safety, and peace, was to the 
primitive Dravidian what the East was to the Brahman. He called It ' ten,' of 
which one meaning in Tamil is opposite, another, sioeet : whence also 'tennei' 
is the Tamil name of the cocoa-nut, literally the sweet nut ; whilst the North 
was ' vada' (the north-wind ' vadei), which is prohahly connected with ' vad-u,' to 
wither,— iha north wind being regarded by Tamilians with as much dread' as the 
south wind (mythologically the car of K^ma, the Indian Cupid) was associated 
with the idea of everything that was agreeable. Eeferring to the physical 
configuration of the Camatic, the Dravidians called the East downward: ths 
yrest, the region of the Ghauts, upward. 


Tamilians) frequently invaded Ceylon, as we are informed by the 
Maha-wanso, both before and subsequently to the Christian era. 
On several occasions they acquired the supreme power, and at length 
they permanently occupied the northern provinces of the island. 
There is no relation, however, between the Singhalese language — the 
language of the Singhalese, properly so called, who were Buddhists 
and colonists from Magadha or Behar^ — and the language of the 
Tamilians ; nor is there any reason for supposing that the natural 
course of emigration (viz., from the mainland to the island) was ever 
inverted to such a degree as to justify the supposition that the whole 
mass of the Dravidians entered India from Ceylon. 

Original Use and Phogressive Extension of the Term 'Sudra.' 

The term 'Sudra,' which is now the common appellation of the 
mass of the inhabitants of India, whether Gaudians or Dravidians, 
seems originally to have been the name of a tribe dwelling near the 
Indus. Lassen recognises their name in that of the town 2i'S/)09 on 
the Lower Indus; and especially in that of the nations of the 'S.vhpoi in 
Northern Arachosia. He supposes them to have been, with the 
Abhiras and Nishadas, a black, long-haired race of aborigines, not 
originally a component part of the Aryan race, but brought under its 
influence by conquest ; and that it was in consequence of the Sudras 
having been the first tribe that was reduced by the Aryans to a 
dependent condition, that the name 'Sudra' was afterwards, on the 
conquest of the aborigines in the interior part of the country, extended 
to all the servile classes. Whatever may have been the origin of the 
name 'Sudra,' it cannot be doubted that it was extended in course of 
time to all who occupied or were reduced to a dependent condition ; 
whilst the name 'Mlechcha' continued to be the appellation of the 
unsubdued, Un-Aryanised tribes. 

Most writers on this subject, including Lassen and Max Miiller, 
suppose that the whole of the Sudras, or primitive, servile classes of 
Northern India, to whom this name was progressively applied, 
belonged to a different race from their Aryan conquerors. "Whilst I 
assent to every other part of the supposition, I am unable to assent to 
this. It seems to me to be probable that a considerable proportion of 
the slaves, servants, dependents, or followers, of the high-caste Aryans 
belonged to the Aryan race. As the Slavonian serfs are Slavonians, 
and the Magyar serfs Magyars, there is no improbability in the sup- 
position, that a large number of the Aryan serfs or Sudras, perhaps 
the majority, were Aryans; and I cannot on any other fiupposition 


account for the fact that nine-tenths of the component materials of the 
northern vernaculars are Sanscrit. 

The supposition of the Aryan origin of a large number of the 
Sudras, seems also most in accordance with the very old mythological 
statement of the origin of the Sudras from Brahma's feet; for though 
the Brahmans, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas, the twice-born classes, are 
represented as springing from more honourable parts of Brahma's body, 
yet the Sudras are represented to have sprung from the same divinity, 
though from an ignoble part; whereas the Nishadas, or barbarian 
aborigines, are not represented to have sprung from Brahma at all, 
but formed a 'fifth class,' totally unconnected with the others. It 
appears from this mythological tradition that the Sudras were supposed 
in the first ages to difi"er from the 'twice born' Aryas in rank only, 
not in blood. I regard as confirmatory of this view the statement of 
Manu that ' all who become outcasts are called Dasyus, whether they 
speak the language of the Mlechclias or that of Aryas :' for in the 
same manner, all who enjoyed the protection of the Aryas, as their 
dependents and servants, would naturally receive a common appella- 
tion, probably that of Sudras, — whether, as aborigine's, they spoke 'the 
language of Mlechohas,' the Scythian vernacular, or whether, as 
Aryas of an inferior rank in life, they spoke 'the language of Aryas,' 
a colloquial dialect of the Sanscrit. It is true, as Professor Max 
Miiller says, that the three twice-born castes alone are called Aryas 
by the Satapatha-Brahmana of the Rigveda : but as 'the four castes,' 
including the Sudras, but excluding the Dasyus and Nishadas, are 
distinctly referred to in the most ancient hymns ; as ontcaste Aryas 
are styled Dasyus by Manu ; and as the higher classes of the Tamilians 
monopolize the national name in this very manner, and pretend that 
the lower classes of their race are not Tamilians, I think that we 
may safely attribute the statement in question to the pride of ' the 
twice-born.' Even the Vratyas, who are distinguished from the 
Sudras and are regarded as an inferior class, did not difler from the 
Brahmans in language, and must, therefore, have been Aryas. 

The aboriginal Scythian inhabitants of India seem to have been 
subdued, and transformed from Mlechchas into Sudras, by slow degrees. 
In the age of Manu, they retained their independence and the appel- 
lation of Mlechchas in Bengal, Orissa, and the Dekhan; but in the 
earlier period which is referred to in the historic legends of the 
Maha-bharata, we find the Mlechchas and Dasyus disputing the pos- 
session of Upper India itself with the Aryas. Sagara, the thirty- 
fifth king of the Solar dynasty, is related to have laboured in vain to 
subdue the heterodox aborigines residing on or near his frontier ; and 


in the reign preceding his, in conjunction with certain tribes connected 
with the Lunar line, those aborigines had succeeded in overrunning his 

The introduction of the Dravidians within the pale of Hinduism, 
and the consequent change of their appellation from Mlechchas to that 
of Sudras appears to have originated, not in conquest, but in the 
peaceable process of colonisation and progressive civilisation. There 
is no tradition extant of a warlike irruption of the Aryas into Southern 
India, or of the forcible subjugation of the Dravidians; though if such 
an event ever took place, it must have been subsequent to the era 
of Manu and the Ramayana, and therefore some remembrance of it 
would probably have survived. All existing traditions, and the names 
by which the Brahmanical race is distinguished in Tamil, viz., 'Eiyar,' 
instructors, fathers, and 'Parppar,' overseers, (probably the ewiaKowot of 
Arrian), tend to show that the Brahmans acquired their ascendency by 
their intelligence and their administrative skill. 

The most adventurous immigrations from Northern India to the 
Dekhan were those of the oiFshoots of the Lunar dynasty, a dynasty 
which originated from the Solar, and whose chief city was Ayodhya, 
Oude, the traditional starting point of most of their immigrations. 
The Pandiya kings of Madura were feigned to have sprung from the 
Lunar line. The title 'Pandiya,' is supposed to be derived from the 

* S9,gara, finding himself unable to extirpate or enslave those heterodox 
tribes, entered into a compromise with them, by imposing upon them various 
distinguishing marks ; by which, I think, we may understand their obstinate 
persistence in the use of the distinguishing marks to which they had been accus- 
tomed. One of those marks is worthy of notice in an inquiry into the relations 
of the early Dravidians. ' The Piradas,' it is recorded, ' wore their hair long 
in obedience to his commands.' Professor Wilson observes, with reference to this 
statement (in his notes on the Vishnu Purana), ' What Oriental people wore their 
hair long, except at the back of the head, is questionable ; and the usage would be 
characteristic rather of the Teutonic and Gothic nations.' The usage referred to 
is equally characteristic of the Dravidians, and it is even possible that the Ptodas 
may have been a Drlridian tribe. Up to the present day the custom of wear- 
ing the hair long, and twisted into a knot at the back of the head, is charac- 
teristic of all the inferior castes in the southern provinces of the Tamil country, 
and also of the shepherds and Maravars. In ancient times this mode of wearing 
the hair was in use amongst all Drdvidian soldiers; and sculptured represen- 
tations prove that at a still earlier period it was the general Dr^vidian custom. 
The K6tas of the Nilgherry Hills wear their hair in the same manner. The Tudas 
wear their hair long, but without confining it in a knot. Probably it was from the 
Dr^vidian settlers in Ceylon that the Singhalese adopted the same usage ; for as 
early as the third century a.d., Agathemerus, a Greek geographer, describing 
Ceylon, says, ' the natives cherish their hair as women among us, and twist it round 
their heads." The wearing of the hair long appears to have been regarded by the 
early Dril vidians as a distinctive sign of national independence : whilst the shaving 
of the hair of the head, with the exception of the ' kudumi,' or lock at the back 
of the head, corresponding to the tail of the Chinese, was considered as a sign of 
Aryanisation, or submisBion to Aryan customB, and admiesion within the palo of 
Aryan protection. 


name of the 'Pandavas' of Northern India, the celebrated combatants 
in the great war of the Maha-bharata, to whom every Cyclopean work 
of unknown antiquity is traditionally ascribed. Probably this deriva- 
tion of the name of 'Pandiyas' ia correct; but there is no reason what- 
ever to suppose that the kings of Madura, by whom this name was 
assumed, sprang from any of the royal dynasties of Northern India. 
The Aryan immigrants to the South appear to have been Brahmanical 
priests and instructors, not Kshatriya soldiers; and the kings of the 
Pandiyas, Cholas, Calingas, and other Dravidians, appear to have been 
simply Dravidian chieftains, or 'Poligars,' whom their Brahmanical 
preceptors and spiritual directors dignified With Aryan titles, and 
taught to imitate and emulate the grandeur and cultivated tastes of 
the Solar, Lunar, and Ajjni-kula racej of kings.* In our own times we 
may see the progress of a similar process in Gondwana, where barbarous 
Gond chieftains have learned from their Brahman preceptors, not only 

• I find that a similar opinion respecting the relation that subsisted between 
tlie Aryans aad the early Dravidians, has been expressed by Professor Max Miiller 
(Beport of British Association for 1847). He says, ' Wholly different from the 
manner in which the Brahmanical people overcame the north of India, was the 
way they adopted of taking possession of and settling in the eoantry south of 
the Vindhya. They did not enter there in crushing masses with the destroying 
force of arms, but in the more peaceful way of extensive colonisation, under the 
protection and countenance of the powerful empires in the north. 

' Though sometimes engaged in wars with their neighbouring tribes, these 
colonies generally have not taken an offensive but only a defensive part ; and it 
appears that, after having introduced Brahmanical institutions, laws, and religion, 
especially along the two coasts of the sea, they did not pretend to impose their 
language upon the much more numerous inhabitants of the Dekhan, but that 
they followed the wiser policy of adopting themselves the language of the 
aboriginal people, and of conveying through its medium their knowledge and 
instruction to the minds of uncivjpsed tribes. In this way they refined the rude 
language of the earlier inhabitants, and brought it to a perfection which rivals 
even the Sanscrit. By these mutual concessions, a much more favourable assimi- 
lation took place between the Arian and aboriginal race ; and the south of India 
became afterwards the last refuge of Brahmanical science, when it was banished 
from the north by the intolerant Mahommedans. It is interesting and important 
to observe how the beneficial influence of a higher civilisation may be effectually 
exercised, without forciug the people to give up their own langTiage and to adopt 
that of their foreign conquerors, a result by which, if successful, evei-y vital 
principle of an independent and natural development is necessarily destroyed.' 

I cannot see how this statement of the Professor can be reconciled with his 
identification of the old Dravidians with the Nishftdas of Northern India. In his 
more recent Sesulta of Turanian Researches, he interprets Siva's triumph over 
Tripura, and the Garuda's devouring of the Kir^tas, as traditions of the conquest 
of Nishada races by the Aryans; and represents the same NishWas as retirirg 
before the Aryas to the south of the Vindhyas, broken and scattered in the 
centre, and violently pressed together even in the south. If the Nishidas who 
were thus dealt with had been DrSlvidians, I think we should find some distinct 
notice of this in the Mahft-bhSlrata, in which the peaceable, polished Ch61as, 
Kalingas, Pandiyas, and other DrSlvidians of the South, are carefully distin- 
guished from the Nishildas of various races, whom the old Solar and Lunar 
kings are represented aa subduing in Northern India. 


to style themselves Rajahs, but even to assume the sacred thread of 
the 'twice-born' Kshatriyas. 

The only Dravidiau kings who are commonly believed to have been 
really Kshatriyas (though with what truth it is now impossible to say), 
were the kings of the Kerala dynasty on the Malabar coast; from 
whom the modern Rajahs of Cochin claim to be descended. 

It is proper to notice here that the title 'Sudra' conveys a higher 
meaning in Southern than in Northern India. The primitive 'Sudras' 
of Northern India were slaves to the Aryans, or in a condition but 
little superior to that of slaves. They had no property of their own, 
and no civil rights. In Southern India, on the contrary, it was upon 
the middle and higher classes of the Dravidians that the title of 
' Sudra ' was imposed ; and the classes that appeared to be analogous 
to the servile Sudras of Northern India, were not called ' Sudras,' but 
' Pallas,' ' Parias,' &c., names which they still retain. The application 
of the term ' Sudra,' to the ancient Dravidian chieftains, soldiers, and 
cultivators may prove that the Brahmans, whilst pretending to do them 
an honour, treated them with contempt ; but it does not prove that 
they had ever been reduced by the Brahmans to a dependent position, 
or that they ever were slaves, like the Northern Sudras, to any class 
of Aryans. The Brahmans, who came in 'peaceably, and obtained the 
kingdom by flatteries,' may probably have persuaded the Dravidians, 
that in calling them Sudras, they were conferring upon them a title of 
honour. If so, their policy was perfectly successful ; for the title of 
' Sudra ' has invariably been regarded by Dravidians in this light : 
and hence, whilst in Northern India the Sudra is a low caste man, in 
Southern India he ranks next to the Brahman, and the place which he 
occupies in the social scale is immeasurably superior, not only to that 
of the Pariars, or agricultural slaves, but also to that of the un- 
enslaved low castes, such as the fishermen, and the cultivators of the 
cocoa-nut and palmyra palms. 

Pre-Aryan Civilisation op the Dravidians. 

Though the Dravidians were destitute of letters, and unacquainted 
with the higher arts of life, prior to the arrival of the Brahmans, they 
do not appear to have been so barbarous and degraded a people as the 
Puranic legends represent. They are represented to us by the Brah- 
mans as uncouth ' rakshasas,' or giants ; as monkeys (by an interesting 
anticipation of the theory of the author of the Vestiges of the 
Natural History of the Creation, who regards the monkeys of the 
Dekhan as the progenitors of the human race) ; or as vile sinners, who 


ate raw meat and human flesh, and disturbed the contemplations of 
holy Rishis. Even Hanuman, their king, and Bama's most useful 
ally, is half-praised, half-ridiculed, as a monkey-god. 

This picture may in some few particulars have correctly enough 
represented the condition of the barbarous Kole, or G6nd tribes who 
inhabited the Vindyha forests; but it cannot be doubted that the Dra- 
vidians, properly so called, had acquired, at least, the elements of 
civilisation prior to the arrival amongst them of the Brahmans. 

If we eliminate from the Tamil language the whole of its Sanscrit 
derivatives, the primitive Dravidian words that remain will furnish us 
with a faithful picture of the simple, yet not savage, life of the Un- 
Aryanised Dravidians. Mr. Curzon holds that there is nothing in the 
shape of a record of the Tamil mind which can recall to us anything 
independent of an obvious Sanscrit origin ; and that if the contrary 
supposition were tenable, we ought to find the remains of a literature 
embodying some record of a religion different from Hinduism. 
Unequivocal traces of the existence amongst the Un-Aryanised Dravi- 
dians, both ancient and modern, of a religion different from Hinduism, 
will be pointed out in the Appendix. At present I will merely adduce 
those records of the primitive Tamil mind, manners, and religion 
which the ancient vocabularies of the language, when freed from the 
-admixture of Sanscrit, will be found to furnish. 

From tbe evidence of the words in use amongst the early 
Tamilians, we learn the following items of information. They had 
'kings,' who dwelt in 'fortified houses,^ and ruled over small 'districts 
of country :' they were without ' books,' and probably ignorant of 
written alphabetical characters, but they had ' minstrels,' who recited 
'songs' at 'festivals :' they were without hereditary 'priests' and 
' idols,' and appear to have had no idea of ' heaven ' or ' hell,' of the 
' soul' or ' sin ;' but they acknowledged the existence of God, whom 
they styled ' ko,' or hing — a realistic title which is unknown to 
orthodox Hinduism. They erected to his honour a ' temple,' which 
they called ' K6-il,' GocTs-hotise ; but I cannot find any trace of the 
' worship ' which they offered to him. The chief, if not the only 
actual worship which they appear to have practised was that of 
'devils,' which they worshipped systematically by 'giving to the 
devil,' i.e. offering bloody sacrifices, and by the performance of 
frantic ' devil dances.' They were acquainted with all the ordinary 
metals, with the exception of ' tin ' and ' zinc ;' with the planets 
which were ordinarily known to the ancients, with the exception of 

'Mercury' and 'Saturn.' They had numerals up to a 'hundred,' 

some of them to a ' thousand ;' but were ignorant of the higher deno- 


minations, a ' lakh ' and a ' crore.' They had ' medicines,' but no 
' medical science,' and no ' doctors ;' ' hamlets ' and ' towns,' but no 
'cities;' 'canoes,' ' boats,' and even 'ships' (small ' decked' coasting 
vessels), but no foreign ' commerce / no acquaintance with any people 
beyond sea, except in Ceylon, which was then accessible on foot at 
low water ; and no word expressive of the geographical idea of 
'island' or 'continent.' They were well acquainted with 'agricul- 
ture,' and delighted in ' war.' All the ordinary or necessary arts of 
life, including ' cotton weaving ' and ' dyeing,' existed amongst them, 
but none of the arts of the higher class. They had no acquaintance 
with ' painting,' ' sculpture,' or ' architecture ;' with ' astronomy,' or 
even ' astrology ;' and were ignorant, not only of every branch of 
' philosophy,' but even of ' grammar.' Their uncultivated intellectual 
condition is especially apparent in words that relate to the operations 
of the mind. Their only words for the ' mind' were the ' diaphragm' 
(the ' ^prjv ' of the early Greeks), and ' the inner parts ' or ' interior.' 
They had a word for ' thought ;' but no word distinct from this for 
' memory,' 'judgment,' or ' conscience,' and no word for ' will.' To 
express 'the will' they wonld have been obliged to describe it as, 'that 
which in the inner parts says, ' I am going to do so and so.' 

This brief illustration, from the primitive Tamil vocabulary, of the 
social condition of the Dravidians, prior to the arrival of the Brah- 
mans, will suffice to prove that the elements of civilisation already 
existed amongst them. They had not acquired much more than the 
elements ; and in many things were centuries behind the Brahmans 
whom they revered as ' instructors,' and obeyed as ' overseers :' but if 
they had been left altogether to themselves, it is open to dispute 
whether they would not now be in a much better condition, at least in 
point of morals, than they are. 

The mental culture and the higher civilisation which they derived 
from the Brahmans, have, I fear, been more than counterbalanced by 
the fossilising caste rules, the unpractical, pantheistic philosophy, and 
the cumbersome routine of inane ceremonies, which were introduced 
amongst them by the guides of their new social state, 

Thk Probable Date op the Aryan Civilisation of the 


It would appear, from the unanimous voice of ancient legends, that 
the earliest Dravidian civilisation was that of the Tamilians of the 
Pandiya kingdom, near the southern extremity of the Peninsula. This 
civilisation is traditionally, and with much show of reason, attributed 


to the influence of successive colonies of Brahmans from Upper India, 
who were probably attracted to the South by the report of the ferti- 
lity of the rich alluvial plains that were watered by the Ckver'i, and 
other Peninsular rivers ; or as the legends relate, by the fame of Rama- 
chandra's exploits, and the sacred celebrity of the emblem of Siva, 
which Rama discovered and worshipped at Ramisseram, or Ram-is- 
varam, a holy place in the island of Paumben, between the mainland 
and Ceylon. The leader of the first, or most influential colony, is 
traditionally said to have been Agastya, a personage who is celebrated 
in Northern India as a holy 'rishi,' or hermit, but who is venerated in 
the South with greater reason as the first teacher of science and litera- 
ture to the primitive Dravidian tribes. It is very doubtful whether 
Agastya (if there ever were such a person) was really the leader of 
the Brahman immigration : more probably he is to be considered as its 
mythological embodiment. ' The Vindhya mountains,' it is said, 
'prostrated themselves before Agastya;' by which I understand that 
they presented no obstacle to his resolute, southward progress; for he 
ie said to have penetrated as far south as Cape Comorin. He is called 
by way of eminence the ' Tamir muni,' or Tamilian sage; and is cele- 
brated for the influence which he acquired at the 'court' of Kula- 
sekhara, according to tradition the first Pandiyan king, and for the 
numerous elementary treatises which he composed for the enlighten- 
ment of his royal disciple ; amongst which his arrangement of the 
grammatical principles of the language has naturally acquired most 
renown. He is mythologically represented as identical with the star 
Canopus, the brightest star in the extreme southern sky in India, and 
is worshipped near Cape Comorin as Agast-isvara. By the majority of 
orthodox Hindus he is believed to be still alive, though invisible to 
ordinary eyes, and to reside somewhere on the fine conical mountain, 
commonly called 'Agastya'shill,' from which the 'Porunei' or 'Tamra- 
parni,' the sacred river of Tinnevelly, takes its rise. 

The age of Agastya, and the date of the commencement of the 
Brahmanical civilisation of the Tamilians cannot now be determined 
with certainty ; but data exist for making an approximate estimate. 
It was certainly prior to the Christian era : for then the whole country 
appears to have been already Brahmanised, and the Pandiya dynasty 
of kings had become known even in Europe. It was as certainly 
subsequent to the era of the Ramayana and Manu : for then the whole 

* The proper name of this mountain is ' Podeiyam ' or ' Podeiya-marmalei," 
the great common mountain, -which has received this name from the circnmatance 
that it ia equally conspicuous on the Pdndiya or Tinnevelly aide of the Ghauts, 
and on the ChSra or Travancore aide. 


of fhe Coromandel coast wa,s still inhabited by 'MJechchas,' who ' ate 
human flesh/ ' consorted with demons,' and ' disturbed the contempla- 
tions of holy hermits.' The age of Agastya is undoubtedly to be 
placed between those two eras. If we be could be sure that the 
references to the Cholas, Dravidas, Knntalas, Keralas, Mushicas, and 
Karnatakas, which are contained in the present text of the Maha- 
bharata, formed originally part of that poem, the era of the commence- 
ment of Tamilian civilisation, and the date of the Agastyan colony 
from which it proceeded, might be brought within a still narrower 
compass, and placed between the age of Manu and that of the MahS,- 
bharata. The genuineness of those references being as yet doubtful, 
and the era of Manu (in deference to an allusion to the Chinese, under 
the name of 'Chinas,' which, like similar allusions to the 'Chinas' and 
' Yavanas' in the Maha-bharata, is probably an interpolation) being 
generally placed I think too low, I am inclined to look to Ceylon for 
the best means of arriving at an approximate date. The immigration 
into Ceylon of the colony of Aryans from Magadha, probably took 
place about B.C. 550, or, at least, some time in the course of that century: 
and I think we may safely argue that the Aryas, or Sanscrit-speaking 
inhabitants of Northern India, must have become acquainted with, and 
formed establishments in, the Dekhan and the Coromandel coast, and 
must have taken some steps towards clearing the Danda-karanya, or 
primitive forest of the Peninsula, before they thought of founding a 
colony in Ceylon. Wijeya, the leader of the expedition into Ceylon, 
is related in the Maha-wanso to have married the daughter of the 
king of Pandi ; and though it may be doubtful enough whether he 
really did so (for on the same authority we must believe that he 
married also the queen of the Singhalese demons) ; this at least is 
certain, that it was the persuasion of the earliest Singhalese writers, 
who were, on the whole, the most truthful and accurate of oriental 
annalists, that the Pandi kingdom of Madura (the first kingdom 
which was established on Aryan principles in the Peninsula) existed 
prior to the establishment of the Magadhi rule in the neighbouring 

Probably, therefore, we shall not greatly err in placing the era of 
Agastya, or that of the commencement of Tamilian civilisation and 
literature, in the seventh, or at least in the sixth century, b c. 

Relative Antkidity of DrIvidian Literature. 

Notwithstanding the antiquity of Dravidian civilisation, the anti- 
quity of the oldest Dravidian literature extant is much inferior to that 


of the Sanscrit. Indeed it is questionable whether the word ' anti- 
quity ' is a suitable oue to use respecting the literature of any of the 
Dravidian languages. 

The earliest writer on Telugu grammar is said to have been a sage 
called ' Kanva/ who lived at the court of Andhra-raya, the king in 
whose reign Sanscrit was first introduced into the Telugu country, 
according to the tradition which was formerly mentioned. 

For this tradition there is proba.bly a historical groundwork, the 
introduction of Sanscrit derivatives being necessarily contemporaneous 
with the immigration of the Brahmana ; and the statement that the 
first attempt to reduce the grammatical principles of the language to 
writing proceeded from a Brahman residing at the cofir£ aia, Telugu 
prince, is a very reasonable one. 

Kanva's work, if it ever existed, is now lost ; and the oldest extant 
work on Telugu grammar (which is composed, like all Telugu grammars, 
in Sanscrit) was written by a Brahman, called Nanniah Bhatta, or 
Nannappa, who was also the author of the greater part of the Telugu 
version of the Maha-bharata, which is the oldest extant composition of 
any extent in Telugu. Nannappa lived in the reign of Vtshnu Vard- 
hana, a king of the Calinga branch of the Chalukya family, who 
reigned at Rajamnndry. The reign of this king is placed by Mr. A, 
D. Campbell about the commencement of the Christian era ; but 
Mr. C. P. Brown, in his Cyclic tables, places it, on better authority, in 
the beginning of the 1 2th century, a.d. 

With the exception of a few other works, which were composed 
towards the end of the 12th century, nearly all the Telugu works that 
are now extant were written in the fourteenth and subsequent centuries, 
after the establishment of the kingdom of Bijnagar, or Vijaya-nagara; 
and many of them were written in comparatively recent times. 

Though the Telugu literature which is now extant cannot boast of 
a high antiquity, the language must have been cultivated and polished, 
and many poems that are now lost must have been written in it, prior 
to the twelfth century— the date of Nannappa's translation of the 
Maha-bharata: for as this translation is considered 'the great standard 
of Telugu poetry,' it cannot be supposed to have sprung into existence 
all at once, without the preparation of a previous literary culture. 

Tamil literature is undoubtedly older than Telugu, though the 
high antiquity which is ascribed to some portions of it by the Tamilian 
literati cannot be admitted. 

The sage Agastya occupies in Tamil literature a place of still 
greater eminence and importance than that of Kanva in Telugu. 

Not only is the formation of the Tamil alphabet attributed to 


Agastya, and the first treatise upon Tamil grammar, together with the 
original settlement of the grammatical principles of the language; but 
he is also said to have taught the Tamilians the first principles of 
medicine, of chymistry or alchymy, of architecture, astronomy, and 
law ; and some of the most ancient and admired treatises on all these 
sciences, as well as many modern ones, are attributed to his pen. It 
is admitted by Tamilians that his grammar does not now exist ; but 
they suppose him to have been the author of most of the extant 
treatises on medicine and other sciences which bear his name. 

Though the literary cultivation of the Tamil language may have 
commenced, as the Tamilians believe, in the age of Agastya (premising 
however, that it is undecided whether he was a real personage, or is 
only to be regarded as the mythological representative of a class or 
period), I feel quite certain that none of the works which are com- 
monly ascribed to Agastya, were written at so early an age. Probably 
there is not any one of them older than the tenth century, a.d. 

Of the works which are attributed to him, those which advocate 
the system of the 'Siddhas' (Tamulice 'Sittar'), or the 'Siddhantam,' 
a mystical compound of alchymy and quietism, with a tinge of 
Christianity, were certainly written after the arrival of Europeans in 
India : and Agastya's name appears to have been used by the writers, 
as had been done by many successions of authors before, for the pur- 
pose of gaining the ear of the people for whose use the books were 

We cannot doubt that the substance of the following stanza, 
which is contained in the ' Njana nuRU,' or centum of wisdom, a small 
poem attributed to Agastya, has been borrowed from statements of 
Christianity, notwithstanding that Christianity is not directly named 
in it, or in any other work of this class : — 

' Worship thou the Light of the Universe ; who is One ; 
Who made the world in a moment, and placed good men in it ; 
Who afterwards himself dawned upon the earth as a Guru; 
Who, without wife or family, as a hermit performed austerities; 
Who appointing loving sages (siddhas) to succeed him. 
Departed again into heaven : — worship Him.' 

It is a striking illustration of the uncritical structure of the Hindu 
mind, that this stanza is supposed, even by Tamil literati, to have been 
written by Agastya himself many thousands of years ago. Heathens 
endeavour to give it a heathen meaning, and Hindu Christians regard 
it as a kind of prophecy. 

Though there is not a single archaism in it; though it is written 

G 2 


not only In the modern dialect, but in a vulgar, colloquial idiom, 
abounding in solecisms; neither party entertains any doubt of its 

Leaving out of account various isolated stanzas, of high but 
unknown antiquity, which are quoted as examples in the grammatical 
and rhetorical works, the oldest Tamil works now extant are those 
which were written, or are claimed to have been written, by the 
Jainas, or which date from the era of the literary activity of the 
Jaina sect. The Jainas of the old Pandiya country were animated by 
a national and anti-Brahmanical feeling of peculiar strength ; and it is 
chiefly tu them that Tamil is indebted for its high culture and its com- 
parative independence of the Sanscrit. The Saiva and Vaishnava 
writers of a later period, especially the Saivas, imbibed much of the 
enthusiasm for Tamilic purity and literary independence, by which the 
Jainas were distinguished : in consequence of which, though Tamil 
literature, as a whole, will not bear a comparison with Sanscrit lite- 
rature, as a whole, it is the only vernacular literature in India which 
has not been contented with imitating the Sanscrit, but has honourably 
attempted to emulate and outshine it. In one department, at least, 
that of ethical epigrams, it is generally maintained, and I think must 
be admitted, that the Sanscrit has been outdone by the Tamil. 

The Jaina period extended probably from the eighth or ninth 
century, a.d., to the twelfth or thirteenth. In the reign of Sundara 
Pandiya, which appears to synchronize with Marco Polo's visit to 
India, the adherents of the religious system of the Jainas, were finally 
expelled from the Pandiya country : consequently, all Tamil works 
which advocate or avow that system must have been written before 
the middle of the thirteenth century, a.d., and probably before the 
decadence of Jaina influence in the twelfth. 

It seems reasonable to conclude that the period in which Jaina 
literature chiefly flourished was that which preceded the enthusiastic 
propagation of the Vedantic doctrines of Sankara Aoharya. If this 
conclusion is correct, the most celebrated poem which was written by 
an avowedly Jaina author — the ' Chintamani,' a brilliant romantic 
epic, containing 15,000 lines — cannot be placed later than the tenth 

The ' Nan-nul,' a High Tamil grammar of great excellence, and 
the poetical vocabularies, which were all written by Jaina scholars, 
must be placed a little later than the 'Chintamani;' but yet anterior to 
the Chola conquest of the Pandiya country, which took place in the 
eleventh century. 

The ' Tol-kappiyam,' or ancient composition, the oldest extant 


Tamil grammar, is probably to be placed at the very commencement of 
the Jaina period. Though written by a Saiva, its Saivism is not that 
of the mystical school of Sankara ; and in the chapters which are 
extant (for much of it has been lost), native grammarians have noticed 
the existence of various grammatical forms which are considered to be 
archaic. It is traditionally asserted that the author of this treatise, 
who is styled technically ' Tolkappiyan&r,' was a disciple of Agastya 
himself, and that he embodied in his work the substance of Agastya's 
grammatical elements. This tradition is on a par with that which 
ascribes so many anonymous works to Agastya : nevertheless, if any 
relics of poems of the first age of Tamil literature still survive, they 
are to be found amongst the poetical quotations which are contained 
in this and similar works, and in commentaries which have been 
written upon them. Some of those quotations are probably the oldest 
specimens of the poetical style that are now extant. 

The ' KuRal' of Tiruvalluvar, a work consisting of 1330 distichs, or 
poetical aphorisms, on almost every subject connected with morals and 
political economy, and which is regarded by all Tamilians (and per- 
haps justly) as the finest composition of which the Tamil can boast, 
appears to be not only the best but the oldest Tamil work of any 
extent which is now in existence. 

I think we should not be warranted in placing the date of the 
KuRal later than the ninth century, a.d. 

The reasons which induce me to assign to it so high an antiquity 
are as follows : — 

(1.) The KuRal contains no trace of the distinctive doctrines of 
Sankara Acharya. It teaches the old Sankhya philosophy, but ignores 
Sankara's additions and developments ; and would therefore appear 
to have been written before the school of Sankara had risen to notice, 
if not before Sankara himself, who lived not later than the ninth 

(2.) There is no trace in the KuKal of the mysticism of the modem 
Puranic system ; of Bhakti, or exclusive, enthusiastic faith in any one 
deity of the Hindu Pantheon ; of exclusive attachment to any of the 
sects into which Hinduism has been divided since the era of Sankara ; 
or even of acquaintance with the existence of any such sects. The 
work appears to have been written before Saivism and Vaishnavism 
had been transformed from rival schools into rival sects ; before the 
Pnranas, as they now stand, had become the text books of Hindu 
theology ; and whilst the theosophy of the early Vedanta and the 
mythology of the Maha-bh^rata comprised the entire creed of the 
majority of Hindus. 


(3.) The author of the KuBal is claimed with nearly equal reason 
by Saivas, Vaishnavas, and Jainas. On the whole the arguments of 
the Jainas appear to me to preponderate, especially that which appeals 
to the Jaina tone that pervades the ethical part of the work ■.-^e.g,, 
scrupulous abstinence from the destruction of life is frequently declared 
to be the chiefest excellence of the true ascetic. Nevertheless, from the 
indistinctness and undeveloped character of the Jaina element which 
is contained in it, it seems probable that in Tiruvalluvar's age Jainism 
was rather an esoteric ethical school, than an independent objective 
system of religion, and was only in the process of development out of 
the older Hinduism. This would carry back the date of the KuRal to 
the eighth or ninth century. 

(4.) It is the concurrent voice of various traditions that Tiru- 
valluvar lived before the dissolution of the Madura Sangam ; i. e., the 
college of literati, or board of literary examiners, at Madura. It is 
asserted that the KuRal was the very last work which was presented 
for the approval of that body ; and that it was in consequence of their 
rejection of the Kusal (on account of the low caste of its author) that 
the college ceased to exist. If any weight is to be attached to this 
tradition, which has the appearance of verisimilitude, the Kusal must 
be the oldest Tamil composition of any extent that is now extant : for 
every composition which is attributed (with any show of reason) to 
the literati who constituted that college, who were in any way 
connected with it, or who lived prior to the abolition of it (some 
of whom were the traditional fathers of Tamil literature), has long 
ago perished. 

(5.) The KuRal is referred to and quoted in grammars and prosodies 
which were probably written in the tenth century. 

For these reasons I think the KuRal should be placed in the eighth 
or ninth century at least. It is admitted, however, as in almost every 
similar inquiry pertaining to Indian literature, that the reasons for 
this conclusion are rather negative than positive. 

Certain poetical compositions are attributed to Auveiyar, 'the 
Mairm; a reputed sister of Tiruvalluvar, of which some, at least, do 
not belong to so early a period. 

It is a remarkable circumstance that the author of the KuKal is 
represented to have been a Pariar. A later legend represents him to 
have been the offspring of a Brahman father by a Pariar mother. 
His real name is unknown. The Valluvars are the priestly division 
of the Pariars, and the author of the KuEal is known only as ' Tiru- 
valluvar,' the sacred Vallman, or Pariar priest. It is a still more 
remarkable circumstance that the poetical compositions which are now 


referred to (small works of universal use and popularity in the Tamil 
country, and of considerable merit) are ascribed to a sister of Tiru- 
vallnvar, a Pariar woman ! Auveyar's real name, like that of her 
brother, is unknown, — ' Auvei,' or ' Auveiyar,' signifying a mother, a 
venerable matron. 

The brief verses (each commencing with a consecutive letter of the 
Tamil alphabet) which are ascribed to Auveiyar, appear to be of con- 
siderable antiquity : but the Advaita work which is called 'Auveiyar's 
KuRal' was written subsequently to the arrival of the Mahommedans 
in Southern India ; and the collection of moral epigrams (most of them 
possessed of real poetic merit) which is called the ' Mudurei,' or pro- 
verbial wisdom, was written after the arrival of Europeans, perhaps 
after tbe arrival even of the English. 

The proof of the modern origin of the Mudurei is contained in the 
following simile : — 'As the turkey that had seen the forest peacock 
dance, fancied himself also to be a peacock, and spread his ugly wings 
and strutted, so is the poetry which is recited by a conceited dunce.' 

As it is certain that the turkey is an American bird, which was 
brought to Europe from America, and introduced into India from 
Europe, there cannot be any doubt of the late origin of the Mudurei, 
if this stanza was always an integral portion of it, as it is represented 
to have been. When I have mentioned thfs anachronism to native 
scholars, and have called their attention to the circumstance that the 
Tamil word for ' turkey ' (like the words denoting ' tobacco,' ' potato," 
&c.), is not an original root, but a descriptive compound, signifying 
' the heavenly fowl,' i. e., ' the great fowl,' they have courageously 
maintained that the turkey was always found in India. 

The date which is commonly attributed to the Tamil translation, 
or rather the Tamil imitation, of the Eamayana, a highly finished and 
very popular work, is considerably too high. In a stanza which is 
prefixed to the work, and which is always believed to have been written 
by the author himself, it is related that it was finished in the year of 
the Salivahana era corresponding to A. D. 733. This date has been 
accepted as genuine, not only by natives, but by those few European 
scholars who have turned their attention to matters of this kind. If 
it were genuine, the Tamil version of the Eamayana would be the 
oldest Tamil composition which is now extant — a supposition to which 
the internal evidence of style is opposed ; and the author, Kamban 
(bo called from ' Kamba nadu,' a district in the Tanjore country, to 
which he belonged), would claim to be regarded as the father of Tamil 

This date, though it is the only one with which I am acquainted 


in the whole range of Tamil literature, is I fear a surreptitious addi- 
tion to Kamban's poem, which was prefixed to it by some admiring 
editor, for the purpose of giving it a higher antiquity than it can justly 
el aim. 

It is generally stated that Kamban finished his poem in the reign 
of Kulotunga Chola ; and as certain poetical riddles, purporting to 
have been given him by Kulotunga Ch61a to solve, have come down 
to the present time, there seems to be no reason to doubt the propriety 
of placing him in the reign of that king. Mr. Taylor, in his analysis 
of the MacKenzie MSS., mentions a tradition that Kamban presented 
his poem to Rajendra Ch61a. As Rajendra, Kulotnnga's father, was the 
Augustus of the Ch61a line, it may be supposed that the more celebrated 
name crept into the story, instead of the less celebrated. Mr. Taylor 
represents Rajendra as Knlotunga's father, not his son : but in an 
inscription in my possession procured from Kottar, in South Tra- 
vancore, and which was written during the period of the occopation of 
the Pandiya country by the Cholas, it is stated that the temple on 
which the inscription is cut was ' erected by Kulotunga Chola to the 
honour of the divinity of Rajendra Chol-isvara,' i. e., to Rajendra 
Chola, ' deified,' or considered as identified with Siva, after his death. 
I therefore conclude that Kulotunga was Rajendra's son, not his 
father. It makes little difference, however, whether he were father 
or son : for Kamban may be supposed to have lived in both reigns, and 
a single reign is of no importance to my present argument. The other 
premiss of my argument is founded upon the evidence of an inscription 
which is found on the walls of an old temple at Cape Comorin. That 
inscription is dated in the reign of Rajendra Chola, and celebrates a 
victory gained by Rajendra over Ahava Malla (a Jaina king, of the 
Chalukya race), on the banks of the Tunga-bhadra. The date of the 
inscription is in the two hundredth year of the Qnilon era (a popular 
local era), answering to 3 025, A. u. Mr. Walter Elliot's inscriptions, 
found in the old Chalukya country, place Ahava Malla's battle with 
Rajendra Chola a little later than this, but in the same century; and 
they also claim the victory not for the Chola, ,but for the Chalukya 
king. This discrepancy, however, is not of any importance : for it is 
clear, from both sets of inscriptions, that Rajendra Ch61a lived about 
the beginning of the eleventh century, and Kul6tunga Chola about the 
middle of it ; and, in consequence, it appears to be certain that the 
publication of Kamban's Ramayana, which professes to have been in 
A.D. 733, has intentionally and mendaciously been ante-dated three 
hundred years. 

This ia not the proper place for attempting to furnish the reader 


with an estimate of the intrinsic value of Dr&vidian poetry. Whilst 
an elevated thought, a natural, expressive description, a pithy, sen- 
tentious maxim, or a striking comparison, may sometimes be met with, 
unfortunately elegance of style, or an affected, obscure brevity, has 
always been preferred to strength and truthfulness, and poetic fire has 
been quenched in an ocean of conceits. 

Nothing can exceed the refined elegance and ' linked sweet- 
ness ' of many Telugu and Tamil poems ; but a lack of heart and 
purpose, and a substitution of sound for sense, more or less characterise 
them all : and hence, whilst an anthology composed of well-selected 
extracts would please and surprise the English reader, every attempt 
to translate any Tamil or Telugu poem in extenso into English, has 
proved to be a failure. 

To these causes of inferiority must be added a slavery to custom 
and precedent at least equal to what we meet with in the later San- 
scrit. Literature could never flourish where the following distich 
(contained in the 'Nan-nM,' or classical Tamil grammar) was accepted 
as a settled principle : — 

' On whataoever subjecte, in whatsoever expressions,.with whatsoever arrangement. 
Classical writers have written, so to write is denoted propi-iety of style,'* 

For the last hundred and fifty years the Dravidian mind appears to 
have Slink into a state of lethargy, — partly in consequence of the dis- 
couraging effect of foreign domination, but chiefly through the natural 
tendency to decay and death which is inherent in a system of slavery 
to the authority of great names. 

With the exception of a small ethical poem, called the 'Niti-neRi- 
vilakkam,' the only Tamil poems or treatises of any real value which 
have been written within the period mentioned, have been composed 

* It is deserving of notice that alliteration is of the essence of DrS,vidian 
poetry, as of Welsh ; and that the Dra.vidians have as just a claim as the Welsh 
to the credit of the invention of rhyme. The rhyme of modem European poetry 
is supposed to have had a Welsh or Celtic origin ; but Dravidian rhyme was 
necessarily invented by Dr9.vldians. The chief peculiarity of Dra,vidian rhyme 
consists in its seat being, not at the end of the line, but at the beginning— a 
natural result of its origin in a love of alliteration. The rule in each Dravidian 
dialect is that the consonant which intervenes between the first two vowejs in a 
line is the seat of rhyme. A single Tamil illustration must suffice : — 

sirei (t)tMil, 
6rei (t)tSd[u. — Acvbi. 
' If you seek for prosperity. 
Seek for a plough.' 

The agreement of those two consonants constitutes the minimum of rhyme 
which is admissible : but often the entire first foot of one line rhymes with the 
same foot in the second ; sometimes the second feet in each line also rhyme ; and 
the rhyme is sometimes taken up again further on in the verse, according to fixed 
laws in each variety of metre. 


by European missionaries. At the head of compositions of this class, 
and high in the list of Tamil classics, stands the ' T6m-ba-vani,' of 
Father Beschi. This long and highly elaborated scriptural epic 
possesses great poetical merit, and exhibits an astonishing command of 
the resources of the language : but unfortunately it is tinged with the 
fault of too close an adherence to the manner and style of 'the 
ancients,' and is still more seriously marred by the error of endeavour- 
to Hinduize the facts and narratives of Holy Scripture, and even 
Scripture geography, for the purpose of pleasing the Hindu taste. 

Now that native education has commenced to make real progress, 
and the advantages of European knowledge, European civilisation, and 
European Christianity are becoming known and felt by so many of 
the Hindus themselves, it may be expected that the Dravidian mind 
will ere long be roused from its lethargy, and stimulated to enter upon 
a new and brighter career. 

If the national mind and heart were stirred to so great a degree a 
thousand years ago by the diffusion of Jainism, and some centuries 
later by the dissemination of the Saiva and Vaishnava doctrines, it is 
reasonable to expect still more important results from the propagation 
of the grand and soul-stirring truths of Christianity, and from the 
contact of the minds of the youth with the ever-progressive literature 
and science of the Christian nations of the West. 

It is a great and peculiar advantage of the English and vernacular 
education which so many Hindus are now receiving from European 
missionaries and from Government teachers, that it is communicated to 
all who wish to receive it, without distinction of caste. In former ages 
the education of the lower castes and classes was either prohibited or 
seduously discouraged, and female education was generally regarded as 
disgraceful j but now the youth of the lower classes, of both sexes, 
are generally admitted to the same educational advantages as those 
that are enjoyed by the higher castes. The hitherto uncultivated 
minds of the lower and far most numerous classes of the Hindu 
community, are now for the first time in history brought within the 
range of humanising and elevating influences. A virgin soil is now 
for the first time being ploughed, turned up to the air and light, and 
sown with the seed of life ; and in process of time we may reasonably 
expect to reap a rich crop of intellectual and moral results. 

In the Appendix I have endeavoured to answer the question, ' are 
the Pariahs and the Tudas Dravidians V I have also subjoined some 
remarks 'on the Dravidian physical type,' and 'on the religion of the 
ancient Dravidian tribes.' 



AH foreign words, to whatever family of languages they may 
belong, are represented iu this work in the Roman character, for the 
double purpose of preventing unnecessary expense and trouble, and of 
facilitating comparison. 

Long vowels are invariably marked thus, — 'a:' when no such 
accent is placed over a vowel, it is intended that it should be pro- 
nounced short. 

All vowels are pronounced in the Continental manner. 

The ' cerebral ' consonants are denoted by a subscribed dot, e.g., 
't, d, n ;' the peculiar vocalic ' r,' and the surd 'I,' of the South- 
Tndian languages are denoted in a similar manner, e.g., ' r, 1:' the 
obscure, inorganic nasal 'n,' or 'm,' is italicized, e.g., 'm, ' or 'm:' 
and the hard, rough ' r,' is represented by a capital ' r.' 

The dental 'd,' in Tamil, and the corresponding 't,' in Malayalam, 
are pronounced in the middle of a word, or between two vowels, like 
the English 'th,' mthan; and in Telugu, 'j' and 'ch,' when fol- 
lowed by certain vowels, are pronounced like ' dz ' and ' ts :' but as 
these are merely peculiarities of pronunciation, and one consonant is 
not exchanged for another, no change has been made in the characters 
by which those sounds are represented. 

In colloquial Telugu, a 'y' euphonic is generally written, as well 
as pronounced, before 'i' and 'e;' and a similar ' v' before 'o :' but 
as this is merely a colloquial corruption, and one which tends to hinder 
comparison with other dialects, all such words will be written without 
the 'y' or 'v,' and it will be left to the reader to pronounce them as 
usage requires. This is the rule in Tamil, in which 'evan,'wAo! is 
always pronounced, but never written, ' yevan.' 



It will be my endeavour in this section to elucidate the laws of 
sound by which the Dravidian languages are characterized, and which 
contribute to determine the question of their affiliation. Special 
notice will be taken of those regular interchanges of sound in the 
different dialects which enable us to identify words under the various 
shapes that they assume, and to which it will frequently be necessary 
to allude in the subsequent sections of this work. 

Dravidian Alphabets. — Before entering on the examination of 
the Dravidian sounds, it is desirable to make some preliminary obser- 
vations on the alphabets of the Dravidian languages. 

There are three different Dravidian alphabets' at present in use, 
viz., the Tamil, the Malayalam, and the Telugu-Canarese. I class 
the Telugu and the Canarese characters together, as constituting but 
one alphabet; for though there are differences between them, those 
differences are few and unimportant. The Tulu is ordinarily written 
in the Malayala character: the Ku grammar of which I have made 
use, is written in the characters of the Uriya — characters which are 
much less appropriate than those of the Telugu would have been, for 
expressing the Ku sounds. The other uncultivated dialects of this 
family have hitherto been content to have their sounds expressed in 
the Roman character. 

The three Dravidian alphabets which have been mentioned above, 
viz., the Tamil, the Malayalam, and the Telugu-Canarese, together with 
their older but now obsolete shapes, and the 'Grantham,' or character 
in which Sanscrit is written in the Tamil country, have all been 
derived, I conceive, from the early Deva-nagari, or from the still 
earlier characters that are contained in the cave inscriptions — characters 
which have been altered and disguised by natural and local in- 


fluences, and especially by the custom, universal in the Dekhan, of 
writing on the leaf of the palmyra palm with an iron stylus. 

It was supposed by Mr. Ellis, and the supposition has gained 
currency, that before the immigration of the Brahmans into the Tamil 
country, the ancient Tamilians were acquainted with the art of 
writing; that the Brahmans recombined the Tamil characters which 
they found in use, adding a few which were necessary for the expres- 
sion of sounds peculiar to the Sanscrit; and that from this amalgama- 
tion, which they called 'Grantham,' or the hook, the existing Tamil 
characters have been derived. There cannot be any doubt of the 
derivation of the Tamil character from the Grantham : for some 
characters are evidently identical with Grantham letters which are 
still in use; others with more ancient forms of the Grantham: but the 
other part of the hypothesis, viz., the existence of a Pre-Sanscrit 
Tamil character out of which the Grantham itself was developed, is 
very doubtful; and though it is true that there is a native Tamil word 
which signifies ' a letter ;' yet there is no tradition extant of the 
eixstence of Tamil characters older than those which the first Brah- 
man immigrants introduced. The Indian characters referred to by 
lambulus, as quoted by Prinsep, evidently differed widely from the 
Tamil, and appear to have been identical with, or allied to, 'the cave 
character;' and the character called Hala Kannada, or Old Canarese, 
and the various characters in which Tamil is found to be written 
in old inscriptions, are plainly founded on the basis of an alpha- 
betical system which was originally intended for the use of the 

The modern Telugu-Canarese differs considerably from the modern 
Tamil, and departs more widely than the Tamil from the Deva-nagari 
type; but there is a marked resemblance between many of the 
Telugu-Canarese characters and the corresponding characters that are 
found in early Tamil inscriptions, such as the 'Sasanas,' or royal 
grants, in the possession of the Jews of Cochin.* The modem 
Malayala character is manifestly derived from the Tamilian Grantham. 
Thus, there is reason to conclude that all the alphabetical characters 
which are used or known in Southern India have a common origin,* 

* The Cochin inacriptiona have been published and interpreted by the 
Eev. Dr. Gundert, in the Journal of the Madras Literary Society. They are 
written in the Tamil language, though in an idiom which is tinged with the 
peeuliaritiea of the Malayalam. The character in which they are written, was 
once aupposed to be peculiar to the MalayMa country : but I have in my posaea- 
aion many fac aimilea of inacriptiona in the same character, which were obtained 
in variouB districts of the Southern Tamil country, or PSlndiyan kingdom ; and it 
would appear to have been the character which waa most generally used at an 
early period all over the South. 


and that their origin is the same as that of all the existing alphabets 
of Northern India, namely, the system of characters in which Sanscrit 
was written by the ancient Brahmans. 

The difference between the northern and the southern alphabets 
arises from the antiquity of the literary cultivation of the southern 
languages, as compared with the northern. The southern languages 
commenced to be cultivated in that early period when the cave 
character was used : the northern vernaculars were not cultivated till 
after the cave character had become obsolete, and had been superseded 
by the later Deva-nagari. 

The Telugu and the Canarese alphabets correspond to the Deva- 
nagari in power and arrangement. The only difference is that a short 
'e' and 'o,' and a hard 'r' which is unknown to the Sanscrit, are 
contained in those alphabets, together with a surd '1,' which is not 
used in the modern Sanscrit, but is found in the Sanscrit of the Vedas, 
as well as in the Dravidian languages. 

In other respects the characters of those alphabets are convertible 
equivalents of the Deva-nagari, The Malayala alphabet generally 
agrees with the Telugu-Canarese : it differs from them in having the 
vocalic 'r,' of the Tamil, in addition to the other characters mentioned 
5^bove; and in having only one character for long and short 'e,' and 
another for long and short 'o.' The aspirated letters and sibilants 
which all those alphabets have borrowed from the Sanscrit, are seldom 
used except in pronouncing and writing Sanscrit derivatives. 

Those letters are not really required for native Dravidian purposes; 
though, through the prevalence of Sanscrit influences, they have 
acquired a place in the pronunciation of a few words which are not 
derived from the Sanscrit. 

The letters 'ch' and 'j,' are pronounced in Telugu in certain situa- 
tions 'ts' and 'dj:' but no additional characters are employed to 
represent those sounds. 

The Tamil alphabet differs more widely than the Malaya] am, or the 
Telugn-Canarese, from the arrangement of the Deva-nagari. The 
grammar of the Tamil language having, to a considerable degree, been 
systematised and refined independently of Sanscrit influences, and 
Sanscrit modes of pronunciation being almost unknown to Tamilians, 
the phonetic system of the Tamil demanded,, and has secured for itself, 
a faithful expression in the Tamil alphabet. The materials of that 
alphabet are wholly, or in the main. Old Sanscrit ; but the use which is 
made of those materials is Tamilian. 

The following are the principal peculiarities of the Tamil alphabet, 

In common with the Telugu and Canarese alphabets, the Tamil 


alphabet possesses separate characters for long and short 'e,' and for 
long and short 'o.' Formerly it had but one character for the long 
and the short sounds of those vowels; and it is believed that the marks 
by which the long are now distinguished from the short were first 
introduced by Beschi. The Tamil has no characters corresponding to 
the liquid semi-vowels 'ri' and 'li/ which are classed amongst vowels 
by Sanscrit grammarians; and it has not adopted the 'anusvara,' or 
obscure nasal of the Sanscrit. Much use is made of nasals in Tamil : 
but those nasals are firm, decided sounds, not 'echoes,' and are classed 
amongst consonants by native grammarians, 'm' is the natural sound 
of the Tamil nasal, and this sound is uniformly retained at the end of 
Words and before labials : when followed by a guttural, 'm' is changed 
into 'ng,' the nasal of the guttural row of consonants; and it is changed 
in.a similar manner into 'iij,' 'n,' or 'n,' according as it is followed by 
a palatal, a cerebral, or a dental. The Tamil alphabet has nothing to 
correspond with the 'half anuswara' of the Telugu — a character and 
sound which is peculiar to that language : nevertheless, the tendency 
to euphonize hard consonants by prefixing and combining nasals, from 
which the 'half anuswara' has arisen, is in full operation in Tamil. 

The Tamil makes no use whatever of aspirates, and has not 
borrowed any of the aspirated consonants of the Sanscrit, nor even the 
isolated aspirate 'h.' 

In arranging the consonants, the Tamil alphabet follows the Deva- 
nag.'.ri in respect of the ' vargas,' or rows, in which the Sanscrit con- 
sonants are classified and arranged. It adopts, however, only the 
first and the last consonant of each row, omitting altogether the inter- 
mediate letters. In the first or guttural row, the Tamil alphabet 
adopts 'k,' and its corresponding nasal 'ng,' omitting 'kh,' 'g,' and 
'gh :' in the second or palatal row it adopts 'eh,' and its corresponding 
nasal 'nj,' omitting 'chh,' 'j,' and 'jh:' in the third or cerebral row it 
adopts 't,' and its nasal 'n,' omitting 'th,' 'd,' and 'dh:' in the fourth 
or dental row it adopts 't,' and its nasal 'n,' omitting ' th,' 'd,' and 'dh :' 
in the fifth or labial row it adopts 'p,' and its nasal 'm,' omitting 
'ph,' 'b,' and 'bh.' 

Thus, the Tamil alphabet omits not only all the aspirated con- 
sonants of the Deva-nagari, but also all its soft or sonant letters. The 
sounds which are represented by the sonants of the Deva-nagari, are 
as commonly used in Tamil as in Sanscrit : but in accordance with a 
peculiar law of sound (to be explained hereafter) which requires the 
same letter to be pronounced as a surd in one position and as a sonant 
in another, the Tamil uses one and the same character for representing 
both sounds; and the character which has been adopted for this pur- 


pose by the Tamil alphabet, is that which corresponds to the first 
consonant, yiz., the tenuis or surd, in each of the Deva-nagari 'vargas.' 

In the 'varga' of the semi'-vowels the Tamil follows the Deva- 
nagari; but it subjoins to that 'varga' a row of four letters which are 
not contained in the Deva-nagari. Those letters are a deep liquid 'r,' 
which will always be represented in this work as 'rj' a harsh, rough 
'r,' which will be represented as 'r; '1,' a peculiar surd '1,' with a 
mixture of 'r;' and 'n,' a letter to which it is unnecessary to affix any 
distinctive mark, the difierence between it and the 'n' of the dental 
'varga' being one of form rather than of sound. This peculiar 'n' is 
that which is invariably used as a final ; and it is also much used in 
combination with 'k,' to represent the peculiar Tamil sound of ' ndr.' 

The Tamil alphabet is not only destitute of aspirated consonants, but 
it is also without the separate aspirate 'h,' which has a place in the alpha- 
bets of so many other languages. It is destitute also of the Sanscrit 
sibilants 's,' 'sh,' and 's.' The second and third of these sibilants are 
occasionally used in pronouncing and writing Sanscrit derivatives ; but 
these letters are never found in the ancient dialect of the Tamil, or in 
the classics, nor have they a place in the Tamil alphabet : when used, 
they are borrowed from the Grantham, from which a few other letters 
also are occasionally borrowed to express Sanscrit sounds. The first 
of the three Sanscrit characters referred to above, namely, ' the s of 
iva,' is never used at all in pure Tamil : the Tamil palatal or semi- 
sibilant which corresponds to the Sanscrit 'ch,' and which is pro- 
nounced as a soft ' a ' or ' sh,' when' single, and as ' ch,' when 
doubled, is the letter which is used instead. 

The following comparative view of the 'Deva-nagari' and the 
Tamil alphabets exhibits the relation which the one bears to the 


at : n : sh 
a<l : — : — 


a, a. ■ i, 1 : u, ft : ri 

,ri :! 

rt : - 

-6 : 

al : — 

6 : 


a, a : i, t : u, ft : - 

- — : 

— : e 

6 -. 

el : 0, 

6 : 


Gutturals, Sans. 




gh : 


Ditto, Tamil 




— • 


Palatals, Sans. 




jh • 


Ditto, Tamil 




— : 


Cerebrals, Sans. 




dh . 


Ditto, Tamil 




— : 


Dental, Sans. 




dh : 


Ditto, Tamil 




— : 


Labials, Sans. 




bh • 


Ditto, Tamil 




— : 




Semi-vowels, Sans. y, r, 1, v 

Ditto, Tamil y, r, 1, v; r, 1, 

Sibilants and aspirate. 

Sans. s', sh, s, h 

Tamil — — 

DrAvidian System op Sounds. — We now proceed to inquire into 
the sounds of the Dravidian letters, and the laws of sound, or phonetic 
system, of this family of languages ; and in doing so, it will be found 
advantageous to adhere to the order and arrangement of the ' Deva- 
nagari ' alphabet. It is not my object to explain in detail the pro- 
nunciation of each letter : but such observations will be made on each 
vowel and consonant in succession as seem likely to throw light on 
the principles and distinctive character of the Dravidian system of 
sounds. Tamil grammarians designate vowels by a beautiful meta- 
phor, as ' uyir,' or the life of a word ; consonants as ' mey,' or the 
body ; and the junction of a vowel and consonant as ' uyir mey/ or 
an animated body. 

I. Vowels.^ — (1.) ' S, ' and ' a.' The sound of these vowels in the 
Dravidian languages corresponds to their sound in Sanscrit. In Tamil, 
' S ' is the heaviest of all the simple vowels, and therefore the most 
liable to change, especially at the end of words. In the other dialects 
it maintains its place more firmly ; but even in them it is ordinarily 
strengthened at the end of words by the addition of the euphonic 
syllable 'vu,' consisting of the enunciative vowel 'u,' and the euphonic 
formative 'v.' ' & ' has almost entirely disappeared from the end of 
nouns in Tamil, and has been succeeded by ' u ' or ' ei.' This rule 
holds universally with respect to nouns singular. When the Greeks 
visited India, 'uru,' a town, appears to have been invariably pronounced 
' ura :' it has now become in Telugu and Tamil either ' uru,' or ' ur,' 
but remains ' ura,' in Malayalam. Where final ' a ' changes into ' ei,' 
in Tamil, it generally changes into ' e,' in Canarese, or else it is 
propped up by the addition of 'vu.' In Telugu, and especially in 
Malayalam, this vowel is less subject to change. Neuter plurals of 
appellatives and pronouns, which originally ended in ' a ' in all the 
dialects, and which still end in 'a,' in Malayalam, now end in most 
instances in ' ei,' in colloquial Tamil, in ' i,' in Telugu, and in ' u,' in 
Canarese. Thus, 'ava,' those (things), has become 'avei,' in Tamil; 
' avi,' in Telugu ; ' avu,' in Canarese : in MalayMam alone, it is still 
' ava.' 

In the same manner, the long final 'S' of Sanscrit feminine 


abstracts, becomes in Tamil ' ei,'—e.g., 'asa,' Sans., desire, Tamil, 
'asei;' 'Chitra,' Saub., April— May, Tamil Sittirei.' The same 'a' 
becomes 'e,' in Canarese, e.ff., 'Ganga,' the Ganges, is in Canarese 
' Gange ' or ' Gange-yu.' The diphthong into which final ' a ' and ' a ' 
are weakened in Tamil, is represented more properly as ' ei ' than as 
' ai.' The origination of the Tamil ' ei ' from ' a/ and the analogy of 
the Sanscrit diphthong ' ai,' which is equivalent to ' ai,' might lead us 
to regard the Tamil diphthong as ' ai,' rather than ' ei.' It is curious, 
however, that though it originated from ' a,' every trace of the sound 
of ' a ' has disappeared. It is represented in Grantham by a double 
'e,' and in Telugu- Canarese by a character which is compounded of 
' e ' and ' i :' it accords in sound also very nearly with the sound of 
' e ' or ' ey,' in TurTcey, It is also to be observed that the Tamil 'ei,' 
is the equivalent of the ' e,' of the Malayala accusative, and is the 
ordinary representative of the final ' e,' of Canarese substantives and 
verbal nouns. I conclude, therefore, that it is best represented by the 
diphthong 'ei,' which corresponds to the 'e? ' of the Greeks. 

(2.) ' i ' and ' i.' These vowels call for no remark. 

(3.) 'u' and 'u.' In the Indo-European languages, and also in 
the Semitic, the vowels ' ii ' and ' u,' are very decided, inflexible 
sounds, which admit of little or no interchange with other vowels, 
or euphonic softening. In the Dravidian languages, long ' u ' is 
sufficiently persistent ; but short ' u ' is of all vowels the weakest and 
lightest, and is largely used, especially at the end of words, for 
euphonic purposes, or as a help to enunciation. 

In grammatical, written Telugu, every word without exception 
must end in a vowel ; and if it has not naturally a vowel ending of its 
own, ' u ' is to be suffixed to the last consonant. This rule applies 
even to Sanscrit derivatives ; and the neuter abstracts ending in ' m,' 
which have been borrowed from the Sanscrit, must end in ' m-u,' in 
Telugu. Though this 'u' is always written, it is often dropped in pro- 
nunciation. In modern Canarese a similar rule holds, with this addi- 
tional development, that 'u' (or, with the euphonic copula ' v,' ' vu') 
is suffixed even to words that end in 'a:' e.g., compare the Tamil 
' sA% few (things), and 'pala,' many (things), with the corresponding 
Can. 'kela-vu' and 'pala-vu.' The Tamil rule, with regard to the 
addition of ' u ' to words which end in a consonant, accords with the 
rule of the ancient Canarese. That rule is, that in words which end 
in any hard or surd consonant, viz., in 'k,' 'ch,' 't,' 't,' or 'p,' (each 
of which is the leading consonant of a ' varga'), or in the hard, rough 
' R,' which is peculiar to these languages, the hard consonant shall be 
followed by 'u' (as 'q,' by 'sh'va,' in Hebrew), in consequence of its 

H 2 

100 SOUNDS. 

being impossible for Tamilian organs of speech to pronounce those 
letters without the help of a succeeding vowel. In most instances this 
enunciative ' u ' is not merely short, but so very short that its quantity 
is determined by grammarians to be equal only to a fourth of the 
quantity of a long rowel. The Malayalam uses invariably a short 
' a,' in those connexions and for those purposes for which ' u ' is used 
in the other dialects. 

It often happens (though it is not an invariable rule) that the final 
surd, to which enunciative 'u' or 'a' has been appended, is doubled, 
apparently for the purpose of furnishing a fulcrum for the support of 
the appended vowel. Thus, the Sanscrit 'vak,' speech, becomes in 
Tamil 'vak(k)-u j' ' ap,' water, becomes 'ap(p)-u ;' and so in all similar 
cases. The rule is further extended iu Tamil so ^s to apply to the 
final consonants of syllables, as well as to those of words. If a 
syllable, though in the middle of a word, terminates in one of the hard 
consonants above-mentioned, and if the initial consonant of the suc- 
ceeding syllable is one which cannot be assimilated to it, the final 
consonant is doubled, and ' u ' is afiixed. Thus, ' advaita,' Sans., 
in-duality, becomes in Tamil ' attuveida.' The rule by which ' d,' 
when thus doubled, becomes 't,' will be explained hereafter. 

In modern colloquial Tamil, 'u' is suffixed to almost every final 
consonant, — to the semi-vowels and nasals, as well as the surds ; and 
even in the ancient or classical Tamil it is sometimes suffixed to final 
'\,' e.g., 'sol(l)-u,' spea/c, instead of simply 'sol.' 

The employment of ' u,' in the manner and for the purposes now 
mentioned, is obviously quite foreign to Indo-European usages. It is 
not derived from the Sanscrit, and is directly opposed to Sanscrit laws 
of sound. It will be termed the ' enunciative u,' and will generally 
be separated off by a hyphen. 

(4.) 'e,' 'e:' 'o,' '6.' The Dra vidian languages possess, and 
largely employ the short sounds of the vowels 'e' and 'o',(epsilon 
and omicron), and have difierent characters for those sounds, for 
the purpose of distinguishing them from the corresponding long 

The Sanskrit is destitute of short ' e ' and ' o.' The entire absence 
of those sounds from a language which attends so nicely as the San- 
scrit to the minutest gradations of sound, cannot be the result of 
accident ; and the important place which they occupy in the Dravidian 
system of sounds, shows that the Dravidian languages are independent 
of the Sanscrit. 

In a few cases, both in Telugu and in Tamil, particularly in the 
instance of the interrogative base ' e^' the short vowel has sometimes 

VOWELS. 101 

been (Jorrupted into a long one, or lengthened by becoming the seat of 
emphasis ; but such cases are rare and exceptional, and in general the 
difference between short 'e' and 'o,' and the corresponding long 
vowels, is a difference which pertains, not to the euphony or inflexional 
form, biit to the bases or roots of words, and is essential to the differ- 
ence in the signification. E^g., in Tamil, ' tel,' means clear, and ' tel,' 
scorpion ; 'kal,' stone, and '■kal,' foot. 

(5.) ' ei.' It has already been mentioned that 'ei,' unlike the 
Sanscrit diphthong ' ai,' is derived from 'e' and 'i,' not from 'a' and 
' i.' The primitive Dravidian ' a ' changes into ' e,' and this again 
into ' ei.' 

Thus, the head, is ' tala,' in Telugu and Malayalam ; ' tale,' in 
Canarese; and 'talei,' in Tamil. 

When ' ei ' is succeeded in Tamil by another ' ei,' with only a 
single consonant between them, the first ' ei,' though naturally long, 
is considered short by position, and is pronounced short accordingly ; 
e.g., ' udeimei,' property, is regarded in prosody as ' udeimei.' In such 
cases ' ei ' is an equivalent to its original ' a ' or ' g.' 

(6.) ' an.' This diphthong has a place in the Tamil alphabet; but 
it is not really a part of any of the Dravidian languages, and it has,i 
been placed in the alphabets solely in imitation of the Sanscrit. It is 
used only in the pronunciation of Sanscrit derivatives; and when such 
derivatives are used in Tamil, they are more commonly pronounced 
without the aid of this diphthong. Ordinarily the diphthong is separated, 
into its component elements : that is, the simple vowels ' a ' and ' u,' 
from which it is derived, are pronounced separately, with the usual 
euphonic ' v ' of the Tamil between th»m to prevent hiatus. JS.g., the 
Sanscrit noun ' saukhyam,' /ieaftA, is ordinarily pronounced and written, 
in Tamil, ' savukkiyam.' 

It is a peculiarity of the Tamil system of sounds, as distinguished 
from that of the other languages of the family, that the vowels ' i,' ' i,' 
'e,' 'e,' and 'u,' acquire before certain consonants a compound,, 
diphthongal sound, which is different from the sound which they have 
as simple vowels. Thus, ' i ' before ' t,' ' n,' ' r,' ' r,' ' e,' ' 1,' and ' 1,' 
acquires something of the sound of ' e :' ' i ' before the same conso- 
nants, with the exception of the first ' r ' and the first ' 1,' takes a 
sound resembling ' u :' 'u' remains always unchanged; but 'u,' not 
only before the above-mentioned seven consonants^ but before all 
single consonants, when it is not succeeded by ' i,' ' u,' or ' e,' is pro- 
nounced nearly like 'o;' and in Telugu, 'o' is generally used in 
writing those words, 'e,' before the consonants above mentioned, 
with the exception of the semi-vowels, loses its peculiarly slender 

1 02 SOUNDS. 

sound, and ia pronounced nearly as it would be if the succeeding con- 
sonant were doubled. ' fe,' with the same exceptions, acquires a sound 
similar to '6.' 

The circumstance which is most worthy of notice, in connection 
with these changes, is that each of the short vowels ' i,' ' u,' and ' e,' 
retains its natural sound, if it is succeeded by another ' i,' ' u,' or ' e.' 
Thus, ' uRa,' Tamil, infinitive, to have, to he, is pronounced ' oBa,' but 
the imperative ' uru' is pronounced as it is written. ' 

This rule discloses a law of sound which is unlike anything that is 
discoverable in Sanscrit. So far as it goes, it is evidently connected 
with the Scythian law of harmonic sequences, which will be referred 
to hereafter. 

The vowel ' a,' occurring in the last syllable of a word ending in 
' n,' ' n,' ' r,' ' r,' ' 1,' or ' 1,' acquires a slender sound resembling that 
of e; e.g., 'avar,' Tamil, they, (honorifically, he') is pronounced 'aver.' 
This change corresponds to the weakening of the sound of heavy 
vowels, in the ultimate or penultimate syllables of words, which is 
sometimes observed in the Sanscrit family of tongues. 

II. Consonants. — Tamil grammarians divide all consonants into 
three classes :— (1.) Surds, which they call ' vallinam,' or the hard class, 
viz., 'k,' 'ch,' 't,' 't,' 'p,' 'B.' (2.) Nasals, which they call ' melli- 
nam,' or the soft class, viz., ' ng,' nj,' /n,' 'n,' 'm,' with final 'nj' 
and (3.) semi-vowels, which they call ' ideiyinam,' or the medial class, 
viz., 'y,' 'r,' '1,' 'V,' 'r,' '1.' 

In this enumeration, as I have already observed, the sonant equi- 
valents of the surd consonants (viz., ' g,' the sonant of ' k' ; ' s,' the 
sonant qf ' ch ;' ' d,' the sonant of ' t ;' ' d,' the sonant of ' t ;' and ' b,' 
the sonant of ' p') are omitted. In the other Dravidian dialects the 
difference between surds and sonants is generally expressed by the use 
of different characters for each sound, in imitation of the system of the 
Deva-nagari ; but in Tamil, and in part in Malayalam, in accordance 
with the peculiar Dravidian law of the convertibility of surds and 
sonants, one set of consonants serves for both purposes, and the differ- 
ence between them is expressed in the pronunciation alone. 

It is desirable before proceeding further to enquire into this law, viz. : 

The Convertibility of ^urds and Sonants. — We have seen that the 
Tamil alphabet adopts the first and last of each of the Deva-nagari 
' vargas,' or rows of consonants, viz., the un-aspirated surd and the nasal 
of each ' varga ;' we have also seen that the Tamil has not separate 

characters for surds and sonants, but uses one and the same character 

that which, properly speaking, represents the surd only— to express 


both. This rule does not apply merely to the written characters of 
the language, but is the expression of a law of sound which is inherent 
in the language itself. 

There are distinct traces of the existence of this law in all the 
Dravidian dialects ; but it is found most systematically and most fully 
developed in Tamil, next in Malayalam. The law, as apparent in the 
Tamil system of sounds, is as follows : 'k,' 't,' ' t,' ' p,' the first, un- 
aspirated consonants of the first, third, fourth, and fifth ' vargas,' are 
always pronounced as tenues or surds {i.e., as 'k,' 't,' 't,' 'p,') at 
the beginning of words, and whenever they are doubled. The same 
consonants are always pronounced as medials or sonants (i.e., as ' g,' 
' d,' ' d,' ' b,') when single, in the middle of words. A sonant cannot " 
commence a word, neither is a surd admissible in the middle, except 
when doubled ; and so imperative is this law, and so strictly is it ad- 
hered to in Tamil, that when words are borrowed from languages in 
which a different principle prevails, as the Sanscrit or the English, the 
consonants of those words change from sonants to surds, or idee versd, 
according to their position : e.g., ' dantam,' Sanscrit, a tooth, becomes 
in Tamil, ' tandam ,■' ' bhagyam,' Sanscrit, happiness, becomes ' pak- 
kiyam.' This rule applies also to the case of compounds. The first 
consonant of the second word, though it was a surd when it stood in- 
dependent, is regarded as a sonant when it becomes a medial letter in 
a compounded word. This difference is marked in Telugu by a dif- 
ference in the character which is employed ; e.g., ' anna-dammulu ' 
(for ' anna-tammulu '), elder and younger brothers ; ' kotta-badu ' (for 
'kotta padu'), to he beaten ; but in Tamil, and generally in Malayalam, 
the difference appears in the pronunciation alone. This rule applies 
to all compounds in Telugu: but in Tamil, when the words stand in a 
case relation to one another, or when the first is governed by the 
second, the initial surd of the second word is not softened, but doubled 
and hardened, in token of its activity ; e.g., instead of ' kotta-badu,' to 
be beaten, it prefers to say, ' kotta-(p)padu.' In 'dwanda' compounds 
the Tamil agrees with the Telugu. 

A similar rule applies to the pronunciation of ' ch' (the Tamil ' s'), 
the first consonant of the second ' varga.' When single it is pro- 
nounced as a soft, weak sibilant, with a sound midway between ' sh' 
and ' ch.' This pronunciation is unchanged in the middle of words, 
and in all cases in which the letter is single ; but when it is doubled 
it is pronounced exactly like ' ch.' The principle involved in this 
instance is the same as in the cases previously mentioned ; but the 
operation of the rule is in some degree different. The difference consists 
in the pronunciation of this consonant in the beginning of a word, as 

104 SOUNDS. 

well as in the middle, as a sonant, i.e., as ' s.' By theory it should be 
pronounced as ' ch ' at the beginning of a word, — and it is worthy of 
notice that it always receives this pronunciation at the beginning of a 
word in vulgar colloquial Tamil; and in Telugu it is written as well 
as pronounced ' ch.' A somewhat similar rule prevails with respect 
to the rough 'r' of the Tamil, which is pronounced as 'b' when 
single, and like ' ttr' when doubled. 

The Tamilian rule which requires the same consonant to be pro- 
nounced as ' k' in one position and as ' g' in another — as ' t,' 't,' 'p,' 
in one position, and as ' d,' ' d,' ' b,' in another — is not a mere dialectic 
peculiarity, the gradual result of circumstances, or a modern refine- 
ment invented by grammarians ; but is essentially inherent in the lan- 
guage, and has been a characteristic principle of it from the beginning. 

The Tamil characters were borrowed from the earlier Sanscrit, and 
the language of the Tamilians was committed to writing on, or soon 
after, the arrival of the first colony of Brahmans, probably more than 
six centuries before the Christian era. Yet even at that early period 
the Tamil alphabet was arranged, not in accordance with Sanscrit laws 
of sound, but in such a manner as to embody the peculiar Uravidian 
law of the convertibility of surds and sonants. The Tamil alphabet 
systematically passed by the sonants of the Sanscrit, and adopted the 
surds alone, considering one character as sufficient for the expression 
of both classes of sounds. This circumstance clearly proves that ab 
initio the Dravidian phonetic system, as represented in the Tamil, 
its most ancient exponent, difi'ered essentially from that of the 

In none of the Indo-European languages do we find surds and 
sonants convertible ; though Hebrew scholars will remember the 
existence in Hebrew of a rule which is somewhat similar to the Ta- 
milian respecting 'k,' ' t,' 'p,'and their equivalents. The Hebrew 
consonants composing the memorial words, ' begad kephath,' are pro- 
nounced in two difierent ways, according to their position. When anv of 
those consonants begins a word, or in certain cases a syllable, it is to be 
pronounced hard, that is, as a surd or tenuis ; and if it be an aspirated 
letter, it is then deprived of the aspirate which it naturally possesses. 
To denote this, such consonants have a point, called a ' dagesh,' inscri- 
bed in them. When those consonants are found in any other position 

* See also the evidence which is furnished in the Introduction respecting the 
existence of this law of the convertibility of surds and sonants in the names of 
places in Southern India that arc recorded by the Greek geographers; e.g.. 
Cotlora (Kdttar), where the 'd' of 'kfld,' the first part of the compound, being 
doubled, has become 't.' 


they are pronounced as sonants, and two of thorn, ' ph' and ' th,' as 

This rule resembles the Tamilian in some particulars ; but the 
resemblance which will be found to exist between the Tamilian rule 
and the law of sounds which prevails in some of the languages of 
the Scythian family, amounts to identity. 

In the Finnish and Lappish there is a clearly marked distinction 
between surds and sonants : a sonant never commences a word or 
syllable in either tongue. But in the oldest specimen of any Scythian 
language which is extant — the Scythic version of the inscription at 
Behistun — Mr. Norris has ascertained {Journal of the Royal Asiatic 
Society for 1853) the existence of a law of convertibility of sonants and 
surds which is absolutely identical with the Tamilian. Ho has ascer- 
tained that in that language, in the middle of a word, the same conso- 
nant was pronounced as a sonant when single and as a surd when 

We now enter upon an examination of the Dravidian consonants 
in detail. 

(1.) The guttural 'varga:' 'k,' ' g,' and their nasal, 'ng.' — These 
consonants are pronounced in the Dravidian language precisely as in 
Sanscrit. ' g,' the sonant of ' k,' which is expressed by the same cha- 
racter in Tamil, is pronounced in Tamil in a peculiarly soft manner. 
Its sound resembles that of the Irish ' gh,' and is commonly used to 
express the 'h' of other languages. Thus, the Sanscrit adjective 
' maha,' great, is written in Tamil ' maga ;' but so soft is the ' g' that 
it may be considered as an equivalent to ' h,' pronounced with less 
roughness than is usual with that aspirate. 

(2.) The palatal 'varga:' 'ch,' 'j,' and 'nj.' — It has been observed 
that the Tamil rejects the Sanscrit sibilants ' s,' 'sh,' and 's.' The 
consonant which it adopts instead is ' ch,' which is pronounced in 
Tamil in a manner somewhat similar to the soft aspirated ' s of Siva,' 
or as a very soft ' sh,' with as little sibilation or aspiration as possible. 
In fact, it should be regarded as a palatal, not as a sibilant ; and when 
it is doubled it takes precisely the sound of the Sanscrit palatal ' ch,' 
or its English equivalent in ' which.' To distinguish the Tamil letter 
from the sibilant ' s' of the Sanscrit, it will be denoted, when single, 
by an accent, thus — 's.' 

In Telugu the sound of ' ch' is that with which this consonant is 
pronounced, not only when doubled, but also when single ; and a simi- 
lar pronunciation prevails in the lowest colloquial dialect of the Tamil, 
in which ' sey,' to do, is pronounced ' chey,' as in Telugu. 

106 SOUNDS. 

' j,' the second un-aspirated consonant of this row, is not used in 
correct Tamil ; but in Telugu it is both written and pronounced : in 
vulgar Tamil also 'ch' is sometimes pronounced like 'j.' The same 
sound of 'j' is sometimes admitted in the use of those Sanscrit deriva- 
tives in which the letter ' j ' is found in Sanscrit ; but ordinarily the 
Tamil sound of ' ch,' or ' s,' is used instead. 

'njV the nasal of this row of consonants, is pronounced as in 
Sanscrit, in all the Dravidian languages. It is frequently used in 
Malayalam as an initial where the Tamil uses ' n,' e.g. ' fijan,' /, 
instead of the Tamil ' nan.' 

1 It is necessary here to notice the existence in Telugu of a pecu- 
liarly soft pronunciation of 'ch' and 'j,' with their aspirates, which is 
unknown in Sanscrit and the northern vernaculars, and is found only 
in Telugu ^nd in Marathi. ' ch' is pronounced as ' ts,' and ' j' as ' dz,' 
before all vowels except ' i,' ' 1/ ' e,' ' e,' and ' ei.' Before these ex- 
cepted vowels, the ordinary sounds of 'ch' and ' j' are retained. Whe- 
ther the Telugu borrowed these sounds from the Marathi, or the Marathi 
from the Telugu, I will not venture to express an opinion ; but this is 
not the only particular in which those languages are found to agree. 

(3.) The cerebral ' varga ;' ' t,' ' d,' ' n.' — The pronunciation of the 
consonants of the cerebral ' varga' in the Dravidian languages does not 
differ from their pronunciation in Sanscrit. In expressing these con- 
sonants, with their aspirates, in Roman characters in this work, a dot 
will be placed under each, to distinguish them from the ' t,' ' d,' and 
' n,' of the dental row. 

Though ' t ' is the surd consonant of the cerebrals, it is not pro- 
nounced at the beginning of any word in Tamil, like the other surds. 
Its sound is too hard and rough to admit of its use as an initial ; and 
therefore, in those few Sanscrit derivatives which commence with this 
letter, 't' is preceded in Tamil by the vowel 'i,' as a help to enunciation. 
When 't' is thus proceeded by a vowel, it is no longer an initial, and 
therefore no longer a surd; and hence it becomes 'd' by rule: so that 
the sound of 't' is never heard in Tamil, except when 'd' is doubled. 
In the other Dravidian dialects ' t' is sometimes pronounced singly, as 
in Sanscrit. 

The Tamil differs from the other dialects in refusing to combine 
'%' with 'n,' and changing it into 'd' when 'n' is combined with it. 

This peculiarity is founded upon a general Tamilian law of sound, 
which is that nasals will not combine with surds, but coalesce with 
sonants alone. In consequence of this peculiar law, such combinations 


as 'nt,' 'nt,' and 'mp,' which are admissible in Telugu and Canarese, are 
inadmissible in Tamils in which ' nd,' ' nd,' and ' mb,' must be used 
instead. This rule applies also to 'k' and 'ch;' which, when combined 
with the nasals corresponding to them, become 'g' and 'j.' Thus, 
' mantapam,' Sans., a porch, becomes in Tamil ' mandabam ;' ' antam,' 
Sans., end, becomes 'andam.' Probably the difference between the 
Tamil and the other Dravidian languages in this point, arises from the 
circumstance that the Tamil has remained so much freer than its sister 
idioms from Sanscrit influences. A similar rule respecting the con- 
junction of nasals with sonants alone, is found in the Finnish-; and 
is possibly owing to that delicacy of ear which both Finns and Tami- 
lians appear to possess. 

I reser\re to the close of this examination of the Dravidian con- 
sonants, some observations on the circumstance that the consonants of 
the cerebral class are found in Sanscrit as well as in the languages of 
the Dravidian family. 

(4.) The dental ' varga :' ' t,' ' d,' ' n.' — The letters of the dental 
'varga' have the same sound in the Dravidian languages as in Sanscrit. 
The only exception consists in the peculiarly soft pronunciation of ' t,' 
in Tamil and Malayalam, when used as a sonant: it is then pronounced 
not as ' d,' but with the sound of the soft English ' th,' in ' that.' It is 
only when it is combined with a nasal (as in the word which was cited 
above 'andam,' end,) that the sonant of 't' is pronounced in Tamil as 
'dj' the sound of 'd' being, in such a conjunction, more natural and 
easy than that of 'th.' 

As this peculiar sound of ' th' is found only in Tamil, and in 
the Malayalam, a daughter of the Tamil, it is doubtful whether 'th' is 
to be considered as the original sound of the sonant equivalent of ' t,' 
or whether it is to be regarded as a corruption or further softening of 
' d.' On the whole the latter supposition seems the more probable: 
and as the ' th' of the Tamil corresponds to the ' d' of the Telugu and 
of the other dialects, in position and power, I will always write it as 
' d,' even when quoting Tamil words, except where it is used as an 
initial, and is therefore a surd, when it will be written as ' t.' 

(5.) The labial ' varga -^ 'p,' 'b,' 'm.' — The pronunciation of ' p,' 
and its sonant ' b,' requires no remark. With regard to the use of 
' m' in combination, I have only to observe that though it changes into 
'ng,' 'fij,' 'n,' or 'n,' when immediately succeeded by a guttural, a 
palatal, a cerebral, or a dental, it is not to be confounded with the 
'anusvara' of the Sanscrit alphabet. The true 'anusvara, i.e., the, 
sound which 'm' takes in Sanscrit before the semi-vowels, the sibilants, 

108 SOUNDS. 

and the letter ' h,' is unknown to the Dravidian languages. A cha- 
racter called by the name of ' anusvara,' but of a different power from 
the ' anusvara' of the Sanscrit, is in use in Telugu and Canarese ; but 
it is used merely as the equivalent of the consonantal 'm,' in euphonic 
combinations, and even as a final. The Telugu has also a vocalic 
nasal, the half ' anusvara,' which, though it is used merely for euphony, 
bears a close resemblance to the true ' anusvara' of the Sanscrit. 
There is nothing in any of the Dravidian languages which corresponds 
to the use of the obscure nasal ' anuswara' as a final, in Hindi and in 
the other northern vernaculars. 

The euphonic use of ' m' and its modifications, and also the use of 
' n' and its equivalents, to prevent hiatus, will be considered at the 
close of this section. 

(6.) The ' varga' of the semi-vowels: 'y,' 'r,' '1,' 'v:' 'r,' '1,' 'k.' — 
In classical Tamil neither 'r' nor T can commence a word: each of 
them requires to be preceded by an euphonic auxiliary vowel j 'r' by 
'i,'and Tby'u.' Thus, the Sanscrit ' ra,' night, abbreviated from 
'ratri,' is written and pronounced ' ira;' and this again is softened into 
'iravu.' In like manner 'lokam,' Sans., the world, becomes 'ulogam,' 
and by a further corruption ' ulagu.' The same rule applies to the 
second set of semi-vowels, 'r,' '1,' 'r,' which are the exclusive property 
of the Dravidian languages, and none of which can be pronounced 
without the help of preceding vowels. 

Of these distinctively Dravidian semi-vowels, ' r' is found in the 
Tamil alone. Its sound resembles that of the English ' r' after a long 
vowel, as in the word 'farm;' but it is pronounced farther back in the 
mouth, and in a still more liquid manner. It is sometimes expressed in 
English books as ' zh,' or ' rzh j' but this is merely a local pronuncia- 
tion of the letter, which is peculiar to the northern district of the 
Tamil country: it is at variance with its afiinities and its inter- 
changes, and is likely to mislead the learner. ' r' is the only Dra- 
vidian consonant which is pronounced diflferently in diflerent districts. 
In the southern districts of the Tamil country, it is pronounced by the 
mass of the people, exactly in the same manner as ' 1,' which is the 
letter invariably used instead of ' r ' in Canarese. Between Tanjore 
and Pondicherry, it is softened into ' rzh,' or ' zh;' and in Madras and 
the neighbourhood, this softening process has been carried to such a 
length, that in the speech of the vulgar, 'r' has become a silent 

The Telugu, which commences to be spoken about two days' 
journey north of Madras, has lost this letter altogether. Generally it 


uses ' d' instead, as the Canarese uses ' 1 ;' but sometimes it uses no 
substitute, after the manner of the vulgar Tamil of Madras. Looking 
at such Telagu words as 'kinda,' below, answering to the Tamil 
' kirnda,' and ' vingu,' to swallow, answering to the Tamil ' virungu,' 
we cannot but suppose, that the Telugu had this letter originally, like 
the Tamil, and that it lost it gradually through the operation of that 
softening process which, in the colloquial Tamil of Madras, converts 
' kire,' below, to ' kiS.' 

'1' is a peculiar heavy '1,' with a mixture of ' r,' which is found in 
the Vedic Sanscrit, as well as in the Dravidian languages. It may be 
styled the cerebral ' 1 ;' and it is probably derived from the same 
source, whatever that source may be, from which the cerebral con- 
sonants 't,' 'd,' and 'n,' have proceeded. 

The hard rough 'r' of the Dravidian languages is not found in 
Sanscrit, and is not employed in pronouncing Sanscrit derivatives. 
It is found in Telugu poetry, and the grammarians insist upon using 
it ; but in the modern dialect of the Telugu it has fallen into disuse. 
In Canarese also, the use of this letter is . confined to the poets. It is 
evident that it was originally contained in all the dialects; though, 
through the influence of the Sanscrit, it has now ceased to be used 
except in the Tamil and Malayalam, in which it has as firm footing as 
ever. In some of the older Tamil alphabets I have found this letter 
appropriately expressed by a double ' r ;' and to distinguish it from 
the softer letter, it will be represented in this work by a capital ' r,' 
emblematical of its greater strength. 

In the use of this hard ' r' in Tamil, there are two peculiarities 
which are worthy of notice. 

(i.) 'R,' when doubled, is pronounced as 'ttf,' though written 
'bb.' The H' of this compound sound differs both from the soft dental 
' t' of the fourth ' varga,' and from the cerebral ' t,' and corresponds 
very nearly to the emphatic final 't' of our English interrogative 
'whatf This sound of 't' is not expressed in writing, but in pronun- 
ciation it is never omitted; and it is one of those peculiar Dravidian 
sounds which are not derived from the Sanscrit, and are not found 
in it. 

(ii.) The letter 'n' (not the dental 'n,' but the final 'n' of the 
Tamil), a letter which is not found in the Telugu or Canarese, is often 
prefixed in Tamil to the rough ' b' for the sake of euphony ; when the 
compound 'ub' acquires the sound of ' ndr' — a sound of which the Tamil, 
like the language of Madagascar, is exceedingly fond. In another 
class of words, the ' n' which is prefixed to ' b' is radical, and should be 
followed by ' d,' according to rule {e.g., in the preterites of verbs whose 

110 SOUNDS. 

root ends in 'n'); but 'R'is suffixed to 'n' instead of 'd,' in ion- 
sequence of which the sound of 'ndr' is substituted for that of 'nd.' 

The ' b' is radical, and the 'n' euphonically prefixed, in'muuRu' 
(mundru), Tam., three, (for 'muru/ Can., the more ancient form of the 
word), and in ' onRu,' (ondru), Tam., one, (for ' oru.') The 'n' is radical 
(or an euphonised form of the radical), and the ' r' is used euphonically 
instead of ' d,' in the following examples ; ' enBU ' (endru), having 
spoken, instead of 'endu;' '^enRu' (sendru), having gone, for 'sendu,' 
(which iis instead of the less euphonic ' Seldu.') In the speech of the 
vulgar in the Tamil country, and in the Malayalam, this compound 
' ndr,' is further altered into ' nn' or ' nn.' In Telugu and Canarese 
' nd' is always found instead of ' ndr.' 

(7.) The sibilants and the aspirate : 's,' 'sh,' 's,' 'h.' — It has 
already been mentioned that the Tamil is destitute of sibilants. The 
other Dravidian idioms freely use the sibilants and aspirates of the 
Sanscrit, in writing and pronouncing Sanscrit derivatives, and to some 
extent, through the prevalence of Sanscrit influences, in the pronun- 
ciation even of pure Dravidian words. In Tamil ' the s of Siva,' 
occurring in Sanscrit derivatives, is represented by the peculiar palatal 
which answers to the ' ch' of the Sanscrit, and the sound of which, when 
single, closely resembles that of ' s.' The other sibilants, ' sh,' and ' s,' 
are altogether excluded from pure classical Tamil. In later Tamil 
books, and in the speech and letters of the better educated Tamilians 
of the present age, those sibilants are freely employed in writing and 
pronouncing words which have been borrowed from the Sanscrit; and in 
such cases, the characters which are used to express them are taken from 
the Grantham. By the mass of the people, however, those letters are 
rarely pronounced aright; and in the remoter districts the vulgar 
substitute for them, in accordance with the genius of the language, 
those letters which the ancient grammars enjoin, and the use of which 
is exemplified in the Safiscrit derivatives that are employed in the 
Tamil classics. The substitutions are as follows : — ' sh,' the cerebral 
sibilant of the Sanscrit is represented in general by the cerebral ' d;' 
sometimes by the liquid ' r ;' sometimes even by the dental ' t' or ' d.' 
's,' the sharp sibilant of the Sanscrit, is sometimes represented by 'tj' 
sometimes it is omitted altogether; sometimes it is changed into the 
Tamil ' ch,' the equivalent of ' s.' When this sibilant stands at the 
beginning of a Sanscrit derivative, and when it is desired in accordance 
with modern usage, to pronounce it with the unmodified Sanscrit sound, 
it is preceded (at least in pronunciation) by the vowel ' i,' without 
which it cannot be enunciated, in that connexion, by Tamil organs. 


Thus, ' stri,' Sans., a woman, is always pronounced an4 generally 
written ' istiri.' 

The Tamil is destitute of the sound of * h,' and of aspirated con- 
sonants, as well as of sibilants. Aspirates are plentifully used in the 
other dialects of the Dravidian family ; and in Canarese, ' h ' is regu- 
larly used as a substitute for ' p.' 

Origin of the Cerebral Consonants. — In all the languages 
and dialects of India, whether they belong to the Sanscrit or to the 
Dravidian families, much use is made of a series of consonants — 't,' 
' d,' with their aspirates, and ' n '■ — which are called by Hindu gram- 
marians ' cerebrals,' because they are pronounced far back in the ' 
mouth, with a hard, ringing sound. I have reserved to this place some 
observations on the existence of this peculiar class of sounds in two 
families of tongues which are so widely different from one another as 
the Dravidian and the Sanscrit. 

It seems natural to suppose, and it will readily be admitted, that 
one of those families must have borrowed the sounds in question from 
the other ; but it remains to be determined which was the borrower, 
and which was the original proprietor. 

The Hindi, the Bengali, and the other vernaculars of Northern 
India may be conceived to have borrowed the cerebral consonants 
from the Sanscrit, from the decomposition of which those languages 
have mainly arisen: but it is very difficult to suppose that they have 
been borrowed in this manner from the Sanscrit by the Dravidian lan- 
guages. On the contrary, I have long been persuaded that they were 
borrowed from the Dravidian languages by the Sanscrit, after the 
arrival of the Sanscrit-speaking race in India. The reasons which 
lead me to adopt this view are these : — 

(] .) The cerebral consonants are essentia] component elements of 
a large number of- primitive Dr& vidian roots, and are often necessary, 
especially in Tamil, for the discrimination of one root from another ; 
whereas in most cases in Sanscrit, the use of cerebral consonants 
instead of dentals, and especially the use of the cerebral ' n,' instead 
of the dental ' n,' is merely euphonic. 

(2.) None of the cerebral consonants has ever been discovered 
in any of the primitive languages which are related to the Sanscrit. 
They are not found in the Classical languages, the Gothic, or the 
Celtic, in the Lithuanian, the Slavonian, or the modern Persian: 
they are not found in the Cuneiform Persian, or the Zend — those lan- 
nuages, or rather sister dialects, with which the Sanscrit finally shook 
hands on crossing the Indus and settling in Arya-vartta. On the 9ther 

112 SOUNDS. 

band, the Drividian languages, which claim to have had an origin 
independent of the Sanscrit, and which appear to have been spoken 
throughout India prior to the arrival of the Brahmans, possess the 
cerebral sounds in question, and for aught that appears, were in posses- 
sion of them always. They are found even in the Brahui. There is 
no trace of these sounds in the Aryan family of tongues, west of the 
Indus : but no sooner does a member of that family cross the Indus, 
and obtain a lodgment in the ancient seats of the Dravidians and other 
Scythians in India, than the cerebral sounds make their appearance in 
their language. It is worthy of notice also, that the Pracrit, a local 
dialect or vernacular of the Sanscrit, makes a larger use of the cere- 
brals than the Sanscrit itself.* 

(3.) Those consonants which the Tamil has borrowed from the Sans- 
crit within the period of the existence of DrS.vidian literature, have been 
greatly modified to accord with the Tamilian laws of sound and delicacy 
of ear. Thus, the Tamil omits the aspirates even of Sanscrit deri- 
vatives, and omits or changes all the sibilants. It systematically 
softens down all harsh sounds. Even the Sanscrit cerebral-sibilant 
' sh ' cannot be pronounced by Tamil organs. Hence it seems impro- 
bable that a series of harsh, ringing sounds, like the cerebral ' t,' ' d,' 
and ' n,' should have been borrowed by the Tamil from the Sanscrit 
without change, and used in the pronunciation, not only of Sanscrit 
derivatives, but also of a large number of the most essential Dravi- 
dian roots. 

(4.) Though the Telugu has been more exposed to Sanscrit influ- 
ences than the Tamil, yet larger use is made of those sounds in Tamil 
than in Telugu, — a circumstance which is incompatible with the suppo- 
sition of the derivation of those sounds from the Sanscrit. 

Putting all these considerations together, it appears probable that 
instead of the Dravidian languages having borrowed the cerebral con- 
sonants from the Sanscrit, the Sanscrit has borrowed them from the 
Dravidian languages ; and it will, I think, be demonstrated in the 
' Glossarial Affinities,' that the Sanscrit has not disdained to borrow 
from the Dravidian languages words as well as sounds. 

After the foregoing observations were written, I met with 
Mr. Norris's pap'er on the language of the ' Scythic tablets ' of 
Behistun, and found a similar opinion expressed therein respecting the 

* The Vfidic Sanscrit possesses a peculiar '1'— the cerebral '1' of the Dr£lvi- 
dian languages — which has disappeared from the more modern Sanscrit. This ' 1 ' 
is one of the most distinctive features of the Dravidian languages, especially of 
the Canarese and the Tamil; and its origin is probably the same as that of the 
other cerebrals. It has nearly disappeared from the Telugu, apparently through 
the influence of the more modern Sanscrit. 


Dravidian origin of the Sanscrit cerebrals. Mr. Norris says, ' I will 
here express my conviction that the sounds called cerebral are peculiar 
to the Tartar or Finnish class of languages ; that the really Indian 
languages are all of Tartar origin, or, at least, that their phonetic and 
grammatical affinities are Tartar ; and that the writers of Sanscrit 
adopted the sound from their Indian neighbours, in the same way that 
the Scandinavians appear to have adopted a similar sound from their 
neighbours, the Lapps, who are undoubtedly Tartars ; the Icelanders 
who retain the old Scandinavian language, pronouncing the words 
'falla' and 'fullr,' as though written 'fadla' and 'fudlr.' 

" It is certainly the case that this peculiar articulation has not 
been noticed as cerebral, so far as I know, by the writers who have 
treated of those languages ; but this may be accounted for from the 
fact that Tartars have had few, if any, native grammarians ; that gene- 
rally speaking, their languages are unwritten ; and that, where written, 
the alphabet, not having been adopted by themselves, but given to 
them by nations more civilized than themselves, the difference between 
the dentals and cerebrals was not striking enough to a foreigner to 
induce him to invent new characters to designate the sounds new to 
him. But the existence of a ' t ' or ' d,' convertible into '1,' is well- 
known to Finnish philologers. Castren, a Finnlander, in his Ostiah 
Grammar, uses distinct characters for the cerebral and dental ' d ' and 
' t,' though not giving them these denominations, and directs that the 
former should be pronounced somewhat aspirated, with the addition 
of ' 1,' as 'dhl' or 'dl,' and ' thl ' or ' tl ;' observing that similar sounds 
occur in the Lappish and Finnish tongues." 

These observations undoubtedly strengthen the supposition of the 
Dravidian origin of the cerebral consonants of the Sanscrit, as well as 
of the Scythian relationship of the Dravidian languages. 

It is remarkable that the Dravidian ' J ' (as will be seen under the 
next head) is interchangeable with the cerebral ' d,' through their 
middle point, the vocalic ' r.' All these letters appear to have a cog- 
nate origin ; and the supposition of the existence of a remote connection 
between the Dravidian and the Ugrian families evidently grows in 
strength as we proceed. 

Dialectic Interchange op Consonants. — Under this head I 
intend to consider, not the euphonic refinements which have been in- 
vented by grammarians, but those natural, unintentional mutations and 
interchanges which are brought to view by a comparison of the various 
Dravidian dialects. These dialectic interchanges will be found to 
throw much light on the Dravidian laws of sound, whilst they enable 


us to identify many wovds and inflexional forms contained in the 
various dialects which appear at first sight to be unconnected, but 
which are in reality the same. 

Following as before the order of the Deva-nagari alphabet, I pro- 
ceed to point out the dialectic changes to which each Drividian conso- 
nant appears to be liable. I omit the aspirated consonants, as not 
really Dr&vidian. 

1. The gutturals.— ''k,' ' g,' ' ng.' 

'g' being merely the sonant of 'k,' in the changes now to be 
enquired into, 'k' and 'g' will be regarded as identical. 

(i.) 'k,' when used as a sonant, that is, as 'g,' changes into ' v.' 
Where we have ' g,' in Tamil, we sometimes find ' v,' in Telugn ;, ' agu,' Tam., to become; ' avu,' Tel. In ' ka,' the infinitive of this 
verb in Telugu, which corresponds to the Tamil ' aga,' ' k ' (or ' g ') 
reappears. It is especially in the middle of words that this consonant 
eA'inces a tendency to be changed into ' v.' This tendency constantly 
appears in the spoken language of the lower classes of the Tamil 
people in the southern provinces ; and has found a place even in the 
poets ; e.g., ' nova,' to be pained, instead of the more common 
' noga.' 

In Telugu 'v' is often not only pronounced, but written, instead 
of ' g ■/ e.g., ' pagadamu,' coral, corrupted into ' pavadamu.' 

Compare with this the change of the Sanscrit 'laghu,' light, into 
the Latin 'levis.' It will be seen that, per contra, 'v' sometimes 
becomes ' g ' in Telugn. 

(ii.) 'k' changes into ' ch ' or ' L' As the Tamil ' k' becomes 
' ch,' when doubled, and is represented in the alphabet by the equiva- 
lent of the Deva-nagari 'ch,' the change of ' k ' into ' ch,' is identical 
with that of ' k ' into ' s.' The former change appears in the Telugu, 
the latter in the Tamil. Compare the change of the Greek and Latin 
'k,' into the Sanscrit 's;' e.g., 'SeKa' and 'decern,' softened into 
' dasa,' ten. 

The Canarese retains 'k,' the older pronunciation of this consonant, 
and where 'k' is found in the Canarese, we generally find 'ch' in 
Telugu, and ' ^ ' in Tamil; e.g., 'kinna,' Can., smaZ^ ; ' chinna,' Tel.; 
I liuna,' Tam. ' kevi,' Can , the ear ; ' chevi,' Tel. ; ' sevi,' Tam. 

' Gey,' Can., to do ; ' chey,' Tel. ; ' key,' Tam. Sometimes the older 
' k ' is retained by the Tamil as well as by the Canarese, and the 
softening appears in the Telugu only; e.g., 'kei,' Tamil, the hand; 
'kye,' or ' keiyyi,' Can.; 'chey,' Tel. ' Kedu,' Tam. and Can., to 
spoil ; Tel., ' ohedu,' or ' chenu.' 


A similar change of 'k' into 'oh,' appears even in Sanscrit; e.g., 
' vach-as," of speech, from the crude nominative ' vak,' speech. 

(iii.) 'kk' change systematically into 'ch.' This change may be 
regarded as the rule of the pronunciation of the lower classes of the 
Tamil people in the southern districts. Further north, and iu gram- 
matical Tamil, it is rarely met with, but in the Telugu country the 
rule re-appears ; and in a large class of words, especially in the for- 
matives of verbs, the double ' k ' of the Tamil is replaced regularly 
by ' ch ' in Telugu. The following instances of this change are con- 
tained even in grammatical Tamil : ' kaychu,' to boil, for the more 
regular 'kaykku,' and ' paychu,' to irrigate, for ' paykku.' 

A single illustration will suffice to illustrate the perfect conformity 
in this point between the vulgar pronunciation of Tamil in the extreme 
south and the regular, grammatical use of 'ch' for 'kk' in Telugu. 
' veikka,' Tamil, to place (infinitive), is pronounced ' veicha,' by the 
illiterate in the southern Tamil districts ; and in grammatical Telugu 
the same word is both written and pronounced ' veicha.' 

(iv.) ' k ' appears sometimes to haye changed into ' t.' I cannot 
adduce a good instance of this change in the Dravidian languages ; but 
I suspect that the ' t ' of some inflexional terminations in Gond 
(e.g., the nominative plural of the personal pronouns) has been derived 
from the Tamil ' k.' Compare also ' vakili,' o doorway, Telugu, with 
the Malayala form of the same word, 'vatal.' I am doubtful, how- 
ever, whether this illustration can be depended upon, because the Tamil 
form of the same word is ' vasal,' classically ' vayil,' apparently from 
' vay-il,' literally mouth-house. 

In other families of languages the interchange between 'k' and 
' t' is not uncommon ; e.g., Doric ' tmi/os,' he, instead of ' e-Keivos,' 

2. The palatals :—' ch' or 's,' 'j,' 'nj.' 

I class the changes of 'ch,' 's,' and 'j,' together, those letters 
being in reality but one in the Dravidian languages. 

The only change to which this letter, ' s ' or ' j,' is liable is that 
of being softened into ' y.' On comparing the Tamil with the Cana- 
rese, many instances of this process are brought to light ; e. g., ' hesar,' 
Can., a name (ancient Canarese, ' pesar'), has been softened in Tamil 
into 'peyar,' 'peyr,' or 'per.' In words borrowed by the Tamil 
from the Sanscrit, 'y* is optionally used instead of 's,' and very 
commonly instead of 'j.' Thus 'r^ja,' Sans,, a king (in Tamil 
« rasa,' and with the masculine formative, ' ris-an'), becomes ' ray-an.' 
In the southern provinces of the Tamil country this change of 's' 
into 'y' has become a characteristic of the pronunciation of the lower 

I 2 

1 16 SOUNDS. 

classes. In those provinces in all words in which this letter occurs, 
■whether Sanscrit or Tamil, the 's' is changed into 'y;' e.g., they - 
say 'ariyi,' rice, instead of ' arisi.' 

3. The cerebrals :—'i,'' ' d,' 'n.' 

(i.) The cerebral ' t,' when used as a sonant and pronounced 
as 'd,' is sometimes changed into the vocalic 'r' in Tamil: e.g., 
' n4di,' Sans., a measure, is commonly written and pronounced in 
Tamil ' nari ;' and this is colloquially pronounced ' n^li ' in the 
southern districts, by a further change of ' r' into ' 1.' The counter- 
part of this change, viz., the change of ' r' into 'd,' is much more 
common in the Dravidian languages. (See ' r.') In Telugu there 
are some instances of the change of ' d' into the hard rough 'r,' e.g., 
' chedu,' to spoil (Tamil and Canarese, ' kedu'\ should have for its 
transitive form ' cheduchu,' answering to the Tamil ' kedukku ;' 
whereas ' cheRuchn' is used instead. 

(ii.) ' n ' This cerebral nasal is frequently softened in Telugu into 
' n,' the nasalof the dental row. The Tamil, the most correct repre- 
sentative of the ancient speech of the Dr&vidians, makes much u^e of 
' n,' as well as of the other cerebrals ; and the colloquial Tamil and 
the Malayalam go beyond the grammatical Tamil in preferring ' n' 
to ' n.' The Telugu, on the other hand, whilst it uses the other cere- 
brals freely enough, often prefers ' n' to 'n.' Thus, it softens the 
Tamil (and old Drividian) words ' kan,' eye, ' vin,' heaven, ' man,' 
earth, into ' kannu,' ' vinnu,' and ' mannu.' It softens even some 
Sanscrit words in a similar mannei: ; e. g., ' guna,' quality, instead of 
' guna.' Sometimes, both in Tamil and in the other idioms, ' n' is 
first euphonized into ' nd,' and then converted into ■ d,' which when 
doubled becomes ' t ;' e. g., ' en,' eight, has first become in Canarese 
' entu,' and then in Tamil 'ettu:' 'pen,' a female, has become 
' pendu;' and in the equivalent Tamil word, ' pedei,' a hen, the ' n ' 
has disappeared and left no substitute. 

4. The dentals :—' t,' ' d,' ' n.' 

(i.) ' t,' or its sonant equivalent ' d,' changes into ' r' in Tamil. 
In the interchange of the cerebral ' d ' and ' r,' ' r ' sometimes ap- 
pears to have been the original sound, and ' d ' the corruption ; but 
in the change which is now refei'red to, it is ' d ' that is the original 
sound, and which is changed into ' r.' This change may arise from 
the circumstance that the ' r' into which ' d' is altered is pronounced 
very like a dental, and bears a considerable resemblance to ' d.' In 
the southern districts of the Tamil country the change of ' d' (when 
preceded and followed by a vowel) into ' r' is exceedingly common in 


the pronunciation of the lower classes : but the same change has in 
some instances found its way jnto the written language ; e. g., ' virei,' 
seed, or to sow, instead of the more correct ' vide!.' In Canarese ' ad,' 
the inflexional increment, or basis of most of the oblique cases of certain 
singular nouns, changes in some instances into ' ar j' e. g., compare 
' id-ar-a,' of this, from ' id-u,' this, with 'mar-ad- a,' of a tree, from ' mara,' 
a tree. In this instance the change from ' d' to ' r,' or some equivalent 
change, was obviously required by euphony : ' id-ad-a' would have been 
intolerably monotonous, and ' mar-ar-a' not less so. This change of ' d' 
into 'r' is not unknown to the North Indian languages ; and in that 
family it is often followed up by a further change of ' r' into ' 1.' 
Bopp has pointed out some instances in the Hindustani and Bengali ; 
e. g., ' des,' ten, becomes ' reh' in the compound numbers, as ' ba-feh,' 
twelve. An instance of the change of ' r' into ' 1' is furnished by ano- 
ther compound numeral, sixteen, which is not ' s6-reh,' but ' s6-leh.' 
The Pracrit also changed ' d' into ' r,' as is seen in the instance of the 
word ' raha,' ten, which has superseded ' daha,' a softened form of the 
Sanscrit ' dasa,' and which is used instead of ' daha' at the end of 
compound numerals. 

It seems to me not improbable that in these cases, and also in the 
use in Bengali and Marathi of '1' instead of ' d' or ' t,' as a sign of 
the preterite and passive participle, we see an evidence of the ancient 
prevalence of Dr&vidian influences in Northern India. 

It may be noticed here that the Umbrian also regularly changed 
'd' into 'r;' e.g., 'sedes' was written 'seres.' As in Tamil, how- 
ever, this change took place only when ' d' came between two vowels. 

(ii.) 'd' sometimes changes into 's.' 

This change appears in Tamil in the optional use of 's' in the 
formatives of nouns instead of ' d.' Thus, ' vayadu,' age, becomes 
' vayasu ;' and 'perisu,' large, or that which is large, is commonly used 
instead of ' peridu,' the more correct form. In Telugu, ' d' is still 
more frequently subject to this change. We have a remarkable in- 
stance of the softening of 'd' into ' s,' of 's' into ' y,' and finally of 
the obliteration of the 'y' itself in the Dravidian word signifying 
a name. This in Tulu is ' pudar,' in ancient Canarese ' pesar,' in 
classical Tamil ' peyar ;' and finally in modern Tamil • pir.' 

(iii.) 'nd' changes in Tamil into 'nj.' In this change 'j' must be 
considered as identical with ' i,' being the sound which ' s' takes when 
preceded by a nasal j and it is always expressed by ' s ' in Tamil. In 
this conjunction the dental ' n' changes into ' n,' which is the dental 
of the palatal row. The change of ' nd' into ' nj ' especially takes 
place after the vowels 'i' or ' ei ' In general it is heard in the pro- 

118 SOUNUS. 

nnnciation of the lower classes only ; but in a few instances it Las 
found its way into grammatical compositions ; e.g. ' eindu,' JiA)e, has 
changed into ' einju,' and this again into ' anju,' a form which is found 
even in the Tamil classics. 

(iv.) 'tt' change into ' ch' in Tamil after the vowels 'i' and 'ei.' 
The change to which I refer appears to be one of ' dd' into ' is,' if the 
form of the Tamil letters is regarded ; but it has already been ex- 
plained that sonants become surds when doubled ; and hence ' dd' must 
be expressed as ' tt,' and ' ss' as ' ch,' this being their pronunciation 
when in juxtaposition. The corruption of the double, soft dentals 'tt' 
into the palatals ' ss,' which are represented by ' ch,' is peculiarly easy 
and natural. This ' ch' which arises out of ' tt,' though almost uni- 
versally characteristic of the pronunciation of the mass of the Tamil 
people, as distinguished from the literati, is rarely found in grammatical 
compositions, except in the formatives of derivative nouns, after the 
semi-vowel 'r;' e.g., ' unar-chi,' sensation, knowledge, vcistea.i. of 
' unar-tti,' which is more in accordance with analogy. In Malayalam 
this change not only appears in the pronunciation of the vulgar, but is 
the rule of the language after the vowels 'i' and 'ej' and 'ch' is 
written as well as pronounced : e. g,, compare ' siricha/ that laughed, 
with the corresponding Tamil 'siritta.' 

(v.) ' n,' the nasal of the dental ' varga,' changes or is softened 
into ' y.' This change rarely occurs ; but we have an indubitable in- 
stance of it in the change of ' uu,' the Telugu copulative conjunction 
and, into ' yu.' ' yu' has been still further softened in Canarese into 
' u.' We have also an instance of this in the softening in classical 
Tamil of ' na,' the termination of certain preterite relative participles 
into ' ya ;' e. g,, ' soUi-ya,' that said, instead of the more regular 
' ioUi-na.' 

(vi.) ' n ' also changes, though still more rarely, into ' m :' e.g , 
' miru,' you, in Telugu, must have been altered from ' niru,' the form 
which answers to the Tamil ' nir,' and which Telugu analogies would 
lead us to expect. See the section on The Pronoun. 

5. The labials :—' p,' ' b,' ' m.' 
(i.) ' p' changes in Canarese into ' h.' This remarkable rnle 
applies to the initial ' p' of nearly all words in modern Canarese, 
whether they are pure Dravidian words or Sanscrit derivatives ; 
e.g. ' pattu,' Tam., ten ('padi,' Tel.), is in Canarese 'hattu.' In like 
manner, ' pana,' money, a Sanscrit derivative, is in modern Canarese 
'ha^a.' This change of 'p' into 'h' has taken place in comparatively 
recent times ; for in the old Canarese, and in the dialect of the Bada- 


gars of the Nilgherriea, 'p' maiutains its ground. A change similar 
to this is occasionally apparent in the Marathi, the neighbour of the 
Canarese on the north : the Sansc. participle ' bhuta-s,' one who has 
been, being altered in Marathi to 'hoto j' e.g., ' hotd-n,' I was. Com- 
pare »Jso the Prakrit 'h6-Bii,' / was, from 'bhuta-smi.' A similar 
change of 'p' into 'h' appears in Armenian; e.g., foot is in Armenian 
'het' (for 'pet'), a,ni fatfier, 'hayr' (for 'payr'). 

(ii.) ' b,' the sonant of ' p/ sometimes changes into ' m ;' e.g., 
' padj,' Tel., ten, becomes ' midi ' in ' tom-midi,' nine, a compound 
which the analogy of both the Tamil and the Telugu would require to 
be 'tom-badi : 'enb4r,' they will my, is often in poetical Tamil 'enmar.' 
' b' is also euphonically added to ' m' in vulgar Tamil. I do not refer 
to such words as ' pSmbu,' Tarn., a snake, as compared with 'pamu,' 
Telugu ; for in those instances the ' ra' itself is euphonic, and ' bu' 
(in Can., ' vu') is the real formative. Cases in which the ' m' is radi- 
cal and the ' b' euphonic occur plentifully in colloquial Tamil ; e.g., 
' kodumei,' wheat, commonly pronounced ' kodumbei.' 

(iii.) ' b' is often softened into ' v' in Tamil. Most transitive verbs 
in Tamil form their future tense by means of ' p' or ' pp ;' and in the 
corresponding intransitives we should expect to find the future formed 
by ' b,' the sonant of ' p.' Where the root ends in a nasal consonant, 
this ' b' appears ; but where it ends in a vowel, * b' is ordinarily 
changed into ' v.' See the section on The Verb. In some instances in 
the Tamil poets this ' b' of the future is changed, not into ' v' but into 
' m,' according to the previous rule. 

(iv.) ' m' changes into ' n.' This change is often apparent in the 
nominatives of neuter nouns in Tamil, the natural termination of many 
of which is ' m,' but which optionally terminate in ' n :' e.g., ' pala-n,' 
pro£t, a derivative from ' phala.' Sans., is more commonly used than 
'pala-m.' In Telugu 'kola-nu,' a tank, answers to the Tamil 
' ku}a-m.' In the same manner ' um,' the Tamil aoristic future for- 
mative, has become ' nu' in Telugu ; and ' um,' the Tamil copulative 
particle, has in Telugu been changed into ' nu.' 

(v.) ' m' changes into ' v ;' e.g., ' nam,' we, and ' nem,' you, in 
ancient Canarese are softened in the modern dialect to ' nav-u' and 
' niv-u.' 

6. Tfie semi-vowels :^' j; 'r,' '1,' 'v:' 'r,' '1,' 'b.' 

(i.) 'y' changes into 'L' It has been shown that 'ch,' 'I,' and 

' j' are softened into ' y' in Tamil, Notwithstanding this, and in 

direct opposition to it, we find in the, colloquial Tamil, especially in 

that of the southern districts, a tendency also to harden ' y* into 's.' 

120 SOUNDS. 

Through some peculiar perversity, where ' I' ought to be, it is pro- 
nounced as ' y,' and where ' y' ought to be, it is pronounced as ' I ;' 
e.g., ' pasi,' hunger, \a mispronounced by the vulgar 'payi;' whilst 
' vayaRu,' the helly, is transformed into ' vasaRU.' This change of 
' y' into ' s' is not confined to the South, though it is more frequently 
met with there. Even in Madras, ' payangal,' hoys, is pronounced 
'pasangal,' and ' ayal,' near, is not only pronounced but written 
'.asal.' In Telugu 'y' is invariably converted into ' s,' after the par- 
ticipial 'i;' e.g., 'ch&yi,' having done, becomes ' chesi.' When 'y' 
is used euphonically to prevent hiatus, it invariably retains its proper 

(ii.) ' r' changes into ' d.' A change of ' d' into ' r' has already 
been mentioned. This is sometimes met by a counter-change of ' r ' 
into ' d j' e. g., * per-u,' or ' per-iya,' Tam., large, becomes in Telugu 

(iii.) ' r' changes into ' 1.' ' r' and ' 1' are found to be interchange- 
able in many families of languages ; and in the Dravidian family this 
interchange is one of very common occurrence. Sometimes ' 1' is cor- 
rupted into ' r ;' but in a larger number of cases ' r' appears to be the 
original, and ' 1' the corruption. In the case of the distinctively Dra- 
vidian ' r' and ' 1,' the change is uniformly of the latter nature ; and 
the change of the ordinary semi-vowel ' r' into the corresponding ' 1,' 
though not uniform, is an exceedingly common one ; and one which 
may be regarded as a characteristic of colloquial Tamil. It is espe- 
cially at the beginning of words that this change occurs, and it takes 
place as frequently in the case of derivatives from the Sanscrit, as in 
the case of Dravidian roots ; e. g., ' rakshi,' to save (' raksh-a,' Sans.), 
is pronounced by the vulgar ' lakshi,' or ' latchi.' 

In the middle of words ' r ' is less frequently changed into ' 1 j' 
nevertheless where the Tamil uses ' r' we sometimes find ' 1 ' in 
the Telugu ; e.g., ' teri,' to appear, in Tamil, becomes ' teli-yu' in 

Seeing that a tendency to change ' r' into ' 1' still exists and 
operates in the Dravidian languages, especially in Tamil, it may be 
concluded that in those ancient roots which are the common property 
of several families of language, and in which an interchange appears 
to exist between ' r' and ' 1,' ' r' was the original, and ' 1' the altered 
sound: e.g., if the Dr&vidian 'kar-n,' or 'kS.r,' black, is connected, 
as it probably is, with the Sanscrit ' kal-a,' black, it may be concluded 
that the Sanscrit form of the root is less ancient than the Dravidian j 
and this supposition is confirmed by the existence of this root ' kar,' 
black, in many of the Scythian languages. 


The fact of the frequency of the interchange between 'r' and '1,' 
(irrespective of the question of priority), would lead us to suspect a 
remote connection between several sets of Dravidian roots, which are 
now considered to be independent of each other ; e.g., compare 'sin,' 
Tam., small, with ' sil,' /ew ;' and ' par' (another form of ' per'), large, 
with ' pal,' many. 

(iv.) ' r changes into ' r.' Whilst the ordinary change is that of 
' r' into ' 1,' the change of ' 1' into ' r' is occasionally met with, and 
forms one of the peculiarities of the Tulu. The Tulu generally changes 
the final '1' of the other Drsividian languages into 'r ;' e.g., ' vil,' 
Tam., a bow, {' billu,' Can.), becomes in Tulu ' bir.' In this instance 
it cannot be doubted that ' 1' was the original termination of the word ; 
for we find the same root west of the Indus in the Brahui ' billa,' a bow. 
A similar interchange between ' 1' and ' r' takes place in Central Asia. 
The '1' of the Manchu is converted into 'r' in the Mongolian. 

In Zend and Old Persian '1' was unknown, and *r' was systemati- 
cally used instead. 

In Telugu, 'lu,' the pluralising sufBx of nouns, is sometimes 
changed into 'ru.' This change, however, of '1' into 'r' is not 
systematic as in the Tulu, but exceptional. In Tamil, '1' is eupho- 
nically changed, not into ' r,' but into ' r ' before ' p ;' e.g., ' palpala,' 
varioTis, becomes in written compositions ' panpala.' This proves that 
a change of ' 1 ' into ' r ' is not contrary to Tamil laws of sound. 

(v.) '1' changes in the language of the Kus to 'd.' The change 
of ' d ' into ' 1 ' is common enough ; but the regular change of ' 1 ' 
into ' d ' is peculiar to this idiom ; e.g., ' palu,' Telugu, milk, is in 
Ku ' padu ;' ' illu,' house, is ' iddn.' 

(vi.) 'v' is generally hardened in Canarese into 'b' in the 
beginning of a word ; e.g., ' var,' Tamil, to flourish, becomes in 
Canarese *bal.' Where 'v' is not changed into ' b,' viz., in the 
middle of words, the Canarese generally softens it into 'w.' The 
same softening is sometimes observed in the pronunciation of the 
lower classes of Tamilians. In MalayWam, ' v ' is always ' w.' 

(vii .) The ' v ' euphonic of the Tamil is sometimes changed into 
' g ' in Telugu. Both ' y ' and ' v ' are used euphonically to pre- 
vent hiatus in Tamil; so in Telugu 'g' is sometimes used not only 
instead of 'v,' but also instead of 'y.' Compare Tam. ' aBu-(v)-ar,' 
six persons, with the Tel.. ' aRn-(g)-uru,' and the Tam. honorific 
singular ' taudei-(y)-ar,' /a^Aer, with the corresponding Tel. 'tandri- 
(g).ar-u.' This will, perhaps, explain the occasional use of 'g' instead 
of ' V ' as the sign of the future tense in High Tamil; e.g., ' seygen,' 
instead of ' sey ven,' I will do. 

122 SOUNDS. 

(viii.) 'r' (the peculiar vocalic 'r' of the Tamil) interchanges 
with three different consonants. Sometimes it becomes ' n ;' e.g., 
'mirugu,' Tamil, to sink, is changed in Telugu to 'munagu;' and 
• kuri,' Tam., a hole, becomes in Canarese ' ku»ii.' Ordinarily ' r ' is 
changed in Telugu into 'd.' Neither the Telugu nor the Canarese 
possesses the Tamil 'r.' In a very few instances the Telugu uses 'n' 
or ' 1 ' instead : sometimes it omits the consonant altogether, without 
using a substitute ; but in a vast majority of instances it converts ' r ' 
into ' d.' 'r' is ordinarily converted in Canarese into '1:' the same 
change characterises the pronunciation of the mass of the Tamil people 
in the southern districts of the country, and prevails in the Malayalam 

This change of 'r' into '1,' and the previous one of 'r' into 'd,' 
form the constituents of an important dialectic law. That law is that 
the same consonant which is ■ r ' in Tamil, is generally ' d ' in Telugn, 
and always '1' in Canarese. Thus, to caress, is 'tar-u' in Tamil; 
' tad-u,' in Telugu j and ' tal-u,' in Canarese. The numeral seven is 
'er-u,' in Tamil; 'ed-u,' in Telugu; and ' el-n,' in Canarese. In the 
compound numeral ' elnuru,' seven hundred, the Telugu ' ed-u ' is 
found to change, like the Canarese, into ' el-u.' The word signifying 
time, which is included in the adverbial nouns then and now (literally 
that time and this time), is in Tamil ' poru-du,' in Telugu ' pud-u,' or 
' podd-u,' and in Malayalam ' poL' In this instance the Canarese 
uses a different word. It thus appears that ' 1 ' and ' d ' are as 
intimately allied as ' d ' and ' r.' This is a point of some importance 
in the affiliation of languages ; for an interchange of ' d ' and ' ) ' is 
characteristic of the Ugrian family of languages, as well as of the 
Dravidian family and the North-Indian vernaculars. The same word 
is written with ' t ' or ' d ' in the Ostiak, and with ' 1 ' in the Magyar 
and Finnish. 

A corresponding interchange is occasionally observed even in the 
Indo-European languages; e.g., compare ' SaKpvfui,' a tear, with 
lachrt/ma : but in those languages it is rarely met with, whereas it is 
a characteristic dialectic sign of several families of tongues belonging 
to the Scythian group. 

(ix.) It may be added that '1' changes, though rarely, into 'r;' 
e.g., 'kammalan,' Tamil, an artificer, from ' kam,' work, and 'al,' 
to exercise, becomes in Canarese ' kamm&ran-u,' though ' ali,' a suffix 
equivalent to 'alau,' is used in Canarese as well as in Tamil. 

(x.) ' B ' (the strong, rough b of the Tamil), is frequently changed 
in Tulu into ' j ;' e.g., ' muRu ' (the original form of ' mundru '), Tam. 
three, heoomeB 'muji;' 'eru,' six, 'Sji.' 


This change of 'r' into 'j,' the equivalent of 's,' is directly the 
converse of the change of ' s ' into ' r,' which is so common in the 
Indo-European tongues. 

Having now finished the consideration of the dialectic changes 
which pure Dravidian consonants undergo, it remains to point out the 
changes which take place in the Sanscrit sibilants, when words in 
which they occur are borrowed from the Sanscrit by the Tamil. 

(].) 'sh.'' The hard, cerebral sibilant of the Sanscrit is unknown 
to the classical Tamil. Sometimes it is changed into ' s,' a change 
which ordinarily takes place at the present day in the pronunciation 
of the lower classes in the southern districts : sometimes, though mora 
rarely, it is changed into ' r;' but most commonly it is converted into 
' d.' This ' d ' is sometimes softened down into the dental ' d.' Thus, 
' raanushya,' Sans., man, becomes in classical Tamil 'manida-n;' 
and this by a further change becomes 'manida-n.' A very old 
example of the change of the Sanscrit ' sh ' into ' d ' in Tamil, can 
be adduced. The month ' Ashada,' Sans., July—^A ugust, has become 
in Tamil ' Adi :' and this change dates probably from the earliest 
period of the cultivation of the Tamil language. In 'Teisha,' 
January — February, the hard ' sh,' instead of being chang'ed, has 
been discarded altogether : the Tamil name of this month, as far back 
as the literature reaches, has been ' Tei.' 

2. 's.' The hissing sibilant of the Sanscrit, answering to our 
English ' s,' is ordinarily in Tamil converted into ' d,' the sonant of 
' t,' which is pronounced as 'th' in that/ e.g., 'masam,' Sans., a month, 
becomes in classical Tamil ' madam ;' and ' manas,* the mind, becomes 
' manad-n.' In this conversion of the Sanscrit ' s' into ' d ' in Tamil, 
there is a change from the sibilant to the dental, which is exactly the 
reverse of that change from the dental to the semi-sibilant which has 
already been described. It may be compared with the weakening 
of ' s ' into ' h ' which we find in several of the Indo-European 

When ' s ' happens to be the first consonant of a Sanscrit deri- 
vative, it is sometimes omitted in Tamil altogether j e.g., 'sthanam,' 
a place, becomes 'tanam.' More commonly in modern Tamil, an 
effort is made to pronounce this ' s ' with the help of the vowel ' i,' 
which is prefixed to it in order to assist enunciation; e.g., 'istiri' 
('stri,' Sans.), a woman. 

The Sanscrit sibilant never changes into ' r ' in Tamil. This 
change, though very common in languages of the Indo-European 
family, rarely, if ever, appears in the Dravidian. 

The only inetanees in which it may be conjectured to have taken 

124 SOCNDS. 

place, are the following. The Tamil- Canarese root 'ir,' to be, in 
Brahui ' ar,' may be allied to the Indo-European substantive verb, as 
represented by the Sanscrit 'as:' the Canarese ' mur-u,' three, is 
identical with the Brahui 'mus-it,' and the Tulu 'muj-i:' the Tamil 
plural of rational beings ' ar,' resembles the Sanscrit epicene plural 
' as :' and perhaps, though more doubtfully still, the Tamil ' iru,' iron, 
euphonized into ' iru-mbu,' may be compared with the Sanscrit ' ayas;' 
and the English word 'iron' — which is allied to 'ayas,' through the 
change of 's' into 'r.' 'I'he instances, however, which I have now 
cited, are not by any means decisive; for the only reliable affinity 
amongst them is that of 'mur-u' and 'mus-it/ and in that instance 
'r' was probably the original letter, and 's' or 'j' the corruption. 

Euphonic pebmdtation of Consonants. — The permutation of 
consonants for euphonic reasons, though it throws less light on the 
laws of sound than dialectic interchange, includes a few points of con- 
siderable interest. Dravidian grammarians have bestowed more atten- 
tion and care on euphonic permutation than on any other subject; 
and the permutations which the grammar of the Tamil requires or 
allows, are at least twice as numerous, and more than twice as per- 
plexing to beginners, as those of the Sanscrit. On examining the 
permutations of consonants prescribed in the grammar of the Tamil, 
the Telugu, and the Canarese — the three principal languages of this 
family — it is evident that a considerable proportion of them are 
founded upon Sanscrit precedents: another class in which Sanscrit 
rules of euphony have been, not imitated, but emulated and surpassed, 
may be regarded rather as prosodial than as grammatical changes : but 
after these have been eliminated, a certain number of euphonic 
permutations remain, which are altogether peculiar to these languages, 
and which proceed from, and help to illustrate, their laws of sound. 
It will suffice to notice a few of those permutations; for the subject 
is too wide, and at the same time not of^suffioient importance, to allow 
of our entering on a minute investigation of it. 

(1.) In 'dwanda' compounds, i.e., in nouns which are united 
together, not by copulative conjunctions, but by a common sign of 
plurality (in the use of which common sign the Dravidian languages 
resemble, and perhaps imitate, the Sanscrit), if the second member 
of the compound commences with the first or surd consonant of any 
of the five 'Vargas' {viz., 'k,' 'ch' or ' k,' ' t,' ' t,' 'p'), the surd 
must be changed into the corresponding sonant or soft letter. In 
those DrAvidian languages which have adhered to the alphabetical 
system of the Sanscrit, as the Telugu and the Canarese, this conver- 


sion of the surd into the sonant is carried into effect and expressed by 
the employment of a different character. In Tamil, in which the 
same character is used to represent both surds aud sonants, a different 
character is not employed, but the softening of the first consonant 
of the second word is always apparent in the pronunciation. 

This peculiar rule evidently proceeds from the Dravidian law, that 
the same consonant which is a surd at the beginning of a word, should 
be regarded as a sonant in the middle ; for the first consonant of the 
second word, being placed in the middle of a compound, has become a 
medial by position. The existence of this rule in the Telugu and 
Canarese, notwithstanding the Sanscrit influences to which they have 
been subjected, proves that the law of the convertibility of surds and 
sonants is not confined to the Tamil. 

All the Dravidian dialects agree in softening the initial surd of the 
second member of ' dwanda ' compounds : but with respect to com- 
pounds in which the words stand to one another in a case relation, 
e.g., substantives, of which the first is used adjectivally or to qualify 
the second, or an infinitive and its governing verb, the Telugu pur- 
sues a different course from the Tamil. The rule of the Telugu is 
that when words belonging to the ' druta' class, including all infinitives, 
are followed by any word commencing with a surd consonant, such 
consonant is to be converted (as in ' dwanda ' compounds) into its soft 
or sonant equivalent. The rule of the Telugu on this point resembles 
that of the Lappish, and still more the rule of the Welsh ; and it has 
been observed that the Welsh, possibly through the pre-historic 
influence of the Finnish, is the most Scythic of all the Indo-European 

It is curious that in combinations of words which are similar to 
those referred to above, and uniformly after infinitives in ' a,' the 
Tamil, instead of softening, doubles and hardens the initial surd- 
sonant of the succeeding word. The Tamil also invariably doubles, 
and consequently hardens, the initial surd of the second member of 
' tat-purusha' compounds, i.e., compounds in which the words stand in 
a case-relation to each other. In such combinations, the Canarese, 
though it is less careful of euphony than either the Tamil or the 
Telugu, requires that the initial surd of the second member of the 
compound should be softened : it requires, for instance, that ' hull 
togalu,' a tiger's shin, shall be written and pronounced ' hull dogalu.' 
The Tamil,' on the contrary, requires the initial surd in all such cases 
to be hardened and doubled; e.g., the same compound in Tamil, viz., 
' puli tol,' a tiger's shin, must be written and pronounced, not ' puli 
dol,' but,' puli- (t)t61.' This doubling and hardening of the initial is 

126 SOUNDS. 

evidently tneaut to symbolize the transition of the signification of the 
first word to the second; and it will be seen that this expedient has 
been very generally resorted to by the Tamil. 

When the first word is used not as a noun or adjective, but as a verb 
or relative participle, the initial surd of the second word becomes a 
sonant in Tamil also, . as in Telugu ; e.g., compare ' kay gombn,' a 
withering branch, with ' k^y-(k)kombu,' a branch with fruit. 

(2.) The Tamil system of assimilating, or euphonically changing, 
concurrent consonants, is in many particulars almost identical with 
that of the Sanscrit, and has probably been arranged in imitation of 
it. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions which may be regarded 
as distinctively Dr&vidian, and which are founded upon Dr&vidian 
laws of sound; e.g., the mutation of '1' into 'n' in various unex- 
pected combinations. Through this tendency to nasalisation, ' p61-da,' 
like, becomes 'p6n-da,' or rather 'pon-dra;' 'kol-da,' taken, bought, 
becomes 'kon-da;' and the latter euphonic mutation has found its 
way in Telugu into the root itself, which is 'kon-u,' to buy, instead 
of the older Tamil 'kol.' It does not appear to have been noticed 
even by Tamil grammarians, that ' 1,' in a few instances, has been 
converted into 'n' before 'k.' Thus ' nan-ku,' or ' nan-gu,' /oMr, is 
derived from ' nal-ku,' an older form of the word ; and ' Panguni,' 
the Tamil name of the month of March-April, has been altered from 
the Sanscrit ' Phalguna.' In Telugu a corresponding tendency 
appears in the change of ' 1 ' into ' n ' before ' t ;' e.g., ' ilti,' of a 
house, is softened into 'inti.' In all these cases '1' is undoubtedly 
the original; and these proofs of the priority of '1' to 'n,' cor- 
roborate the suspicion that the Latin ' alius ' is older than its Sanscrit 
equivalent 'anyas.' 

Euphonic Ncnnation, or Nasalization. — Much use is made in 
the Drftvidian languages, especially in the Tamil and Telugu, of the 
nasals 'ng,' 'nj,' 'n,' 'n,' and 'm' (to which should be added ' n ' or 'm,' 
the ' half anuswara' of the Telugu), for the purpose of euphonising the 
harder consonants of each ' varga.' All the nasals referred to, with 
the exception of the ' half anuswara,' which is an inorganic sound, 
are regarded by native grammarians as modifications of the sound 
of 'm;' the nature of each modification being determined by the 
manner in which ' m ' is afiected by succeeding consonants. lu 
Tamil, as in Sanscrit, all those modifications are expressed by the 
nasal consonants which constitute the final characters of each of the 
five 'Vargas.' In Telugu and in Canarese one and the same cha- 
racter, which is called 'anuswara,' but which possessesa greater range 


of power than the 'anusvira' of the Sanscrit, is used to represent 
the whole of the nasal modifications referred to. The pronunciation 
of this character, however, varies so as to accord with the succeeding 
consonant as in Tamil. 

The ' nunnation,' or nasalization, of the Dr&vidian languages is of 
three kinds. 

1 . The first kind of ' nunnation ' is used to a greater extent in 
Tamil than in any other dialect. It consists in the insertion of a 
nasal before the initial consonant of the formative suffix of many 
nouns and verbs. The formative syllable or suffix, the nature of 
which will be explained more particularly in the succeeding section, 
is added to the crude root of the verb or noun, and constitutes the 
inflexional theme, to which the signs of inflexion are annexed. The 
nasalised formative is used in Tamil by the intransitive form of the 
verb and by the isolated form of the noun. When the verb becomes 
transitive, and when the noun becomes adjectival, or is placed in a 
case-relation to some other noun, the nasal disappears, and the con- 
sonant to which it was prefixed — the initial consonant of the formative 
— is hardened and doubled. 

The nasal is modified in accordance with the nature of the initial 
consonant of the formative suffix : it becomes ' ng ' before ' k ' or ' g ;' 
' nj ' before ' s ' or ' ch ;' ' n ' before ' t ' or ' d ;' ' n ' before ' t ' or ' d j' 
and 'm' before 'p* or 'b.' The Teliigu uses the 'anuswara' to 
express all these varieties of sound ; and the ' half anuswara ' in 
certain other cases, 

(i.) Of the use of the first nasal, ' ng,' to emphasize and euphonize 
the formative suffix 'k-u' or 'g-u,' the Tamil affords innumerable 
examples. One verb and noun will suffice ; e.g., ' ada-ngu,' to refrain 
oneself, to keep in, is formed from the root 'ada' by the addition of 
the formative, intransitive suffix * gu,' which is euphonized into ' ngu :' 
'ka-nggei,' heat, is from 'ka' or 'kajr,' to burn (in Telugu 'kS/-gu'); 
with the addition of the suffix ' gei,' euphonized into 'nggeL' 

(ii.) Instances of the euphonic use of the nasal of the second 
' varga,' ' n,' are more common in Telugu than in Tamil, Thus, 
' pafich-u,' Tel, to divide, is derived from ' pag-u,' Tamil (changed 
into 'pach-u,' and then nasalized into 'panch-u') ; and is analogous to 
the Tamil noun 'pang-u,' a share, which is derived from the same 
verbal root : ' retti-nchu, Tel., to double, is an example of the use of 
the euphonic nasal by verbs of the transitive class j a class in which 
that nasal is not used by any other dialect but the Telugu. 

(iii.) The Cerebrals 't' and 'd' are not used as formative suffixes 
of verbs, though some verbal roots end in those consonants; but they 

128 SOUNDS. 

are not unfrequently used as formativee of neuter nouns ; e.g., ' ira-d-u,'- 
the original of the Tamil numeral two, corresponding to the Canarese 
' era-du,' has been euphonised to ' ira-nd-u.' The Tamil adverbial 
nouns 'a-nd-u,' tJiere, ' i-nd-u,' here, ' ya-nd-u,' where, are derived from 
'a' and 'i,' the demonstrative bases, and 'ya,' the interrogative base, 
with the addition of the usual neuter formative ' d-u,' euphonised to 
' nd-u.' In Telugu a large number of masculine formatives in ' d-u ' 
receive in pronunciation the obscure nasal 'w/ e.g., for ' vadu-lu ' or 
' vad-lu,' they, ' vawd-lu ' is commonly used. On comparing the Tamil 
'karandi,' a spoon, with 'garite,' the Telugu form of the same word, 
we find that sometimes the nasal is used of one dialect and rejected 
by another. 

(iv.) We see an example of the euphonic use of ' n,' the nasal of 
the dental 'varga,' in the intransitive verb 'tiru-nd-u,' Tamil, to 
become correct, from ' tiru,' the radical base, and ' du,' the formative, 
euphonised into 'ndu:' the transitive form of the same verb is 
' tiru-ttu,' to correct. We find the same euphonic insertion in the Tamil 
demonstrative adjectives ' anda,' ' inda,' that, this, which are derived 
from the demonstrative pronouns ' ad-u,' that, ' id-u,' this, by the 
addition of the adjectival or relative participial ' a,' and the inser- 
tion of the euphonic nasal before ' d,' the neuter formative. An 
example of the nasalisation of a noun of this class is found 
in ' maru-ndu,' Tamil, medicine, which is derived from ' maru,' 
fragrant, with the addition of the formative 'du,' euphonised to 

(v.) Many examples of the euphonic insertion of 'm' before the 
suffix in 'b' might be adduced; but the following will suffice. 
' tiru-mbu,' to turn (intransitively), of which the root is unques- 
tionably ' tiru,' as appears from the corresponding Telugu ' tiru-gu ' 
and Canarese- 'tiru-vu.' The Tamil form of the transitive of the same 
verb is 'tiru-pp-u,' to turn. An example of a similar insertion of 
euphonic ' m' before the formative ' b' of a noun, is seen in 'eRu-mbu,' 
Tamil, an ant, when compared with the equivalent Canarese word 
'iru-ve.' The formatives 'nd-u' and ' mbu,' are extremely common 
terminations of Tamil nouns ; and with few if any exceptions, where- 
ever those terminations appear, they will be found on examination to 
be euphonized suffixes to the root. 

2. The second use to which the euphonic nasal is put is altogether 
peculiar to the Tamil. It consists in the insertion of an euphonic ' n,' 
between the verbal theme and the ' d ' which constitutes the sign of 
the preterite of a very large number of Tamil verbs. The same ' d 
ordinarily forms the preterite in ancient Canarese, and it is not 


unknown to the Telugu ; but in those languages the nasal, ' n,' is not 
prefixed to it. 

The following are examples of this nasalisation of the sign of the 
preterite in. Tamil : ' vdr-nd-en ' (for ' var-d-en '), / flourished, from the 
root ' var,' in Canarese ' bal :' compare Old Canarese preterite, 
' bSl-d-en.' So also, ' viru-nd-u ' (for ' viru-d-u '), having fallen, from 
the root ' viru ' or 'vir:' High Tamil, 'vir-d-u;' Canarese equivalent, 
' bidd-u.' The corresponding Malayala ' vin-u,' is an example of the 
absorption of the dental in the nasal. 

In colloquial or vulgar Tamil, this euphonic insertion of ' n ' is 
carried further than the grammatical Tamil allows. Thus, 'sey-d-a,' 
done, and ' pey-d-a,' rained, are vulgularly pronounced 'sey-nj-a' and 

3. A third use of the euphonic nasal, is the insertion, in Tamil, 
of * n ' or ' n,' before the final ' d ' or ' d,' of some verbal roots. 

The same rule sometimes applies to roots and forms that terminate 
in the rough 'b,' or even in the ordinary semi-vowel 'r.' Thus, 
' fcar-u,' Can., a calf, is ' kauR-u' in Tamil (pronounced ' kandr-u'); and 
'miir-u,' Can., three, is in Tamil 'muns-u' (pronounced ' mund-u'). 

In the first and second classes of instances in which nunnation is 
used for purposes of euphony, the Dravidian languages pursue a course 
of their own, which is different from the usages of the Scythian, as 
well as of the Syro-Arabian and Indo-European families of languages." 
In the Syro-Arabian languages, especially in Talmudic Hebrew, 
euphonic ' n ' is always a final, and is often emphatic as well as 

In the Turkish, ' n ' is used between the bases of words and their 
inflexions, in a manner similar to its use in Sanscrit. In the North- 
Indian vernaculars an obscure nasal, '«,' is often used as a final. 
But none of these usages perfectly corresponds to the Dravidian nasa- 
lisation referred to under the first and second heads. In the third 
class of instances, the Dravidian usage bears a close resemblance to 
the Indo-European. In the seventh class of Sanscrit verbal roots, a 
nasal is inserted in the special tenses, so as to coalesce with a final 
dental, e.g., ' niJ,' to revile, becomes ' nindati,' he reviles. Compare 
also the root 'uda,' water, with its derivative root 'und,' to he wet. A 
similar nasalisation is found both in Latin and Greek. In Latin we 
find the unaltered root in the preterite, and a nasalised form in the 
presents e.g., compare 'scidi' with ' scindo;' 'cubui' with 'cumbo ;' 
' tetigi ' with ' tango ;' ' fregi ' with ' frango.' Compare also the 
Latin ' centum,' with the Greek ' e-xarvv.' In Greek, compare the" 
roots ' fiaO and ' \ay3,' with the nasalised forms of those roots found 


1 30 SOUNDS. 

in the present tense, e.g., ' fiav6-avu}.' to learn, and ' Kafifi-dpic,' to take. 
The principle of euphonic nasalisation contained in these Sanscrit, 
Greek, and Latin examples, though not perfectly identical with the 
Dravidian usage, corresponds to it in a remarkable degree. The dif- 
ference consists in this, that in the Indo-European languages the inser- 
tion of 'n' is purely euphonic, whereas in Tamil it contributes to gram- 
matical expression. The consonant to which ' n ' is prefixed by neuter 
verbs, is deprived of the ' n,' and also hardened and doubled, by 

Prevention op 'Hiatus.' — An examination of the means employed 
in the Dravidian languages to prevent hiatus between concurrent 
vowels, will bring to light some analogies with the Indo-European 
languages, especially with the Greek. 

In Sanscrit, and all other languages in which negation is effected 
by the use of ' alpha privative,' when this ■ a ' is followed by a vowel, 
'n' is added to it to prevent hiatus, and 'a' becomes ' an,' 'in,' or 
' un.' In the Latin and Germanic languages, this 'n,' which was used 
at first euphonically, has become an inseparable part of the privative 
particles, ' in ' or ' un.' In the greater number of the Indo-European 
languages, this iaalmpst the only conjuncture of vowels in which hiatus 
is prevented by the insertion of an euphonic ' n.' In Sanscrit and 
Pali, ' n ' is also used for the purpose of preventing hiatus between the 
final base-vowels of nouns or pronouns and their case terminations, in 
order that the vowels of the base may escape elision or corruption, and 
be preserved pure. In some instances (a probably older) ' m' is used 
for this purpose, instead of 'n.' This usage is unknown in the cog- 
nate languages, with the exception of the use of ' n ' between the 
vowel of the base and the termination of the genitive plural in the 
Zend and the Old High German. 

It is in Greek that the use of ' n,' to prevent hiaius, has been most 
fully developed : for whilst in Sanscrit contiguous vowels are combined 
or changed, so that hiatus is unknown, in Greek, in which vowels are 
more persistent, 'n' is used to prevent hiatus between contiguous 
vowels, and that not only when they belong to the same word, but also, 
and still more, when they belong to different words. 

On turning our attention to the Dravidian languages, we may 
chance at first sight to observe nothing which resembles the system now 
mentioned. In Tamil and Canarese, and generally in the Dravidian 
languages, hiatus between contiguous vowels is prevented by the use 
of ' V ' or ' y.' Vowels are never combined or changed in the Drlvi- 
dian languages, as in Sanscrit, except in the case of compounds which 


have been borrowed directly from tlie Sanscrit itself j nor are final 
vowels elided in these languages before words commencing with a 
vowel, with the exception of some short finals, which are considered 
as mere vocalisations. 

In Telugu and Canarese, a few other unimportant vowels are occa- 
sionally elided. Ordinarily, however, for the sake of ease of pronun- 
ciation, and in order to the retention of the agglutinative structure 
which is natural to these languages, all vowels are preserved pure and 
pronounced separately : but as ' hiatus ' is dreaded with peculiar 
intensity, the awkwardness of concurrent vowels is avoided by the 
interposition of 'v' or 'y,' between the final vowel of one word and 
the initial vowel of the succeeding one. The rule of the Tamil, which 
in most particulars is the rule of the Canarese also, is that ' v ' is used 
after the vowels 'a,' 'u,' and 'o,' with their long vowels, and ' au,' 
and tbat 'y' is used after 'i,' 'e,' with their long vowels, and 'ei.' Thus 
in Tamil, ' vara illei,' not come, is written and pronounced ' vara-(v)- 
iilei,' and ' vari-alla,' (it is) not the way, becomes ' vari-(y)-alla.' 

This use of ' v,' in one conjunction of vowels, and of ' y,' in 
another, is doubtless a result of the progressive refinement of the lan- 
guage. Originally, we may be sure that one consonant alone was used 
for this purpose. These euphonic insertions of 'v' and 'y ' between 
contiguous vowels are observed in the common conversation of 
Dravidians, as well as in written compositions ; and they are found 
even in the barbarous dialects : e.g., in the Ku, which was reduced to 
writing only a few years ago, 'v' may optionally be used for euphony, 
as in Tamil. Thus in Ku, one may say either ' aalu,' she, or ' a(v)alu.' 
This insertion of ' v ' or ' y,' takes place, not only when a word termi- 
nating with a vowel is followed by a word beginning with another 
vowel, but also (as in Sanscrit) betwerai the final vowels of substan- 
tives and the initial vowels of their case terminations: e.g., ' pu]i-(y)-il,' 
in the tamarind, ' pilS-(v)-il,' in the Jack. The use of 'alpha priva- 
tive ' to produce negation being unknown to the Dravidian languages, 
there is nothing in any of them which corresponds to the use of ' an,' 
' in,' or ' un ' privative, instead of ' a,' in the Indo-European lan^ages, 
before words beginning with a vowel. 

Hitherto th« only analogy which may have appeared to exist 
between the Dravidian usage and the Greek, in respect of the preven- 
tion of hiatm, consists in the use of ' v ' or ' y,' by the DrSvidian 
languages as an euphonic copula. 

As soon as we enterupon the examination of the means by which 
Aiatics is prevented in Telug'tt, a real and remarkable analogy comes to 
light ; for in many instances, where the Tamil uses ' v,' the Telugu, 


1 32 SOUNDS. 

like the Greek, uses ' n.' By one of the two classes into which all 
words are arranged in Telugu for euphonic purposes, ' y ' is used to 
prevent hiatus when the succeeding word begins with a vowel; by the 
other, a very numerous class, 'n' is used, precisely as in Greek. Thus, 
instead of 'tinnaga egenu,' it went slowly, the Telugu requires us to 
say ' tinnaga-(n)-egenu.' When ' n ' is used in Telugu to prevent 
hiatus, it is called ' druta,' and words which admit of this euphonic 
appendage, are called 'druta prakrits,' words of the 'druta' class. 
' Drnta ' is used in the sense of extra, and ' the druta n ' may be in- 
terpreted as 'the extra a,' or 'the n which has no meaning of its 
own.' The other class of words consists of those which use 'y ' instead 
of 'n,' or prevent elision in the Sanscrit manner, by 'sandhi,' or com- 
bination. Such words are called the 'cala' class, and the rationale of 
their, prefering 'y' to 'n' was first pointed out by Mr. Brown. When- 
ever ' n ' (or its equivalent, ' ni ' or ' nu ') could have a meaning of its 
own, e.c/., wherever it could be supposed to represent the copulative 
conjunction, ' ni ' or ' nu,' or the case sign of the accusative or the loca- 
tive, there its use is inadmissible, and either ' y ' or ' sandhi ' must be 
used instead. Hence, there is no difference in principle between ' n ' 
and ' y ;' for the latter is used in certain cases instead of the former, 
merely for the purpose of preventing misapprehension ; and it can 
scarcely be doubted that both letters were originally identical in origin 
and in use, like 'v' and 'y,' in Tamil. The Telugu 'n' directly cor- 
responds to the Tamil ' v.' Compare the Tel., ' ra-(n)-e ledu,' (he, 
she, or it) has not come indeed, with the Tam., ' vara-(v)-e illei.' 

Even in Tel., ' n ' is replaced by ' v,' after the emphatic ' e : 
e.g., 'a-ast'-e-(v)-S,' that very property. After ' e,' the Tamil requires 
'y' instead of 'v.' An euphonic peculiarity of the Telugu may here 
be noticed. ' ni' or 'nu,' the equivalents of 'n,' are used euphonicaJly 
between the final vowel of any word belonging to the ' druta ' class 
(the class which uses 'n' to prevent hiatus) and the hard, surd initial 
consonant of the succeeding word — which initial surd is at the same 
time converted into its corresponding sonant. They may also be 
optionally used before any initial consonant, provided always that the 
word terminating in a vowel to which they are affixed, belongs to the 
class referred to. It is deserving of notice, that in this conjunction 
' ni ' or ' nu ' may be changed into that form of ' m ' (the. Telugu 
' anuswara') which coalesces with the succeeding consonant. 

I regard ' n ' as the original form of this euphonic copula of the 
Telugu, and 'y,' as a softening of the same. An nudoubted and 
independent instance of this softening process is seen in the change 
of the Telugu copulative particle, ' nu,' and, into ' yu,' in certain 


conjunctions in the higher dialect of the language. This word has 
been softened still further in Canarese into 'u.'* In the Sanscrit of 
the Vedas also, ' y ' is often used enphonically instead of ' n,' between 
base vowels and case terminations. That 'nu' was the original of 
' yu,' not conversely ' yu ' the original of ' nu,' appears from the con- 
nection of ' nu ' with its Tamil equivalent 'um.' Another instance 
of this interchange of ' um ' and ' nu,' has already been pointed out 
in the identity Of the ' nu ' of the Telugu aorist, and the ' um ' of the 
Tamil aoristic future. 

It has been mentioned that ' v ' and ' y ' are the letters which are 
used in Tamil for preventing hiatus, where ' n ' and ' y ' are used by 
the Telugu. On examining more closely the forms and inflexions of 
the classical Tamil, we shall find reason for advancing a step farther ; 
inasmuch as in Tamil also ' n ' is used instead of ' v ' in a considerable 
number of instances, especially in the pronominal terminations of 
verbs in the classical dialect. Thus, the neuter plural demonstrative 
being 'avei' (for 'a-(v)-a,' from ' a-a'), we should expect to find the 
same ' a-(v)-ei,' or the older ' a-(v)-a,' in the third person plural neuter 
of verbs : but we find 'a-(n)-a' instead; i.e., we find the hiatus of 
' a-a ' filled up with ' n ' instead of ' v :' e.ff., ' irukkindra(n)a,' they are 
(neuter), instead of ' irukkindra(v)a.' So also, whilst in the separate 
demonstratives ' avan,' he, and 'avar,' they (epicene), the hiatus is 
filled up with ' v' ('a-(v)-an,' 'a-(v)-aT'), in the pronominal termina- 
tions of verbs in the classical dialect we find 'a-(n)-an' often used 
instead of 'a-(v)-an,' and 'a'(n)-ar' instead of ' a-(v)-ar :' e.g., 'irunda- 
(n)an/ he was, instead of 'irunda(v)an,' or its ordinary contraction 
' irundan.' We sometimes also find the same ' n ' in the neuter plural 
of appellative nouns in the classical dialect; e.g., ' porula(n)a,' things 
that are real, realties, instead of 'porula(v)a,' or simply 'pbrula.' We 
find the same use of 'n' to prevent hiatus in the preterites and relative 
past participles of a large number of Tamil verbs; e.g., 'kattirn)en,' / 
ishowed,^ 'katti(n)a,' which showed: in which forms the 'n' which comes 
between the preterite participle 'katti' and the terminations 'en' and 
'a,' is clearly used (as 'v,' in ordinary cases) to prevent hiatus. The 
euphonic character of the 'n' of 'na,' whatever be its origin (respecting 
which see the section on Verbsy — Preterite tense), is conformed by the 
circumstance that 'n' optionally changes in classical- Tamil into 'y ;' 
e.g., we may say, 'katti(y)a,' that showed, instead of ' katti(n)a. 

* According to this view of the case, the connection between the Canarese 
particle of conjunction, ' t; and the copulative conjunction, ' u,' which is found 
in the Vfidaa, and also the 'ft' of the Semitic languages, will appear to be 
accidental rather than real ; for we have no reason to suppose the ' u ' of the 
Sanscrit and the ' ft ' of the Hebrew to be softened forms of • um,' ' mu,' or • nu.' 

134 SOUNDS. 

Another instance of the use of 'n' in Tamil for the prevention of 
hiatus, is furnished by the numerals. The compound numerals between 
' ten ' and ' twenty ' are formed by the combination of the word for 
*ten' with each numeral in rotation. The Tamil word for ten is 
•pattu;' but 'padu ' is used in the numerals above twenty, and 'padi,' 
identical with the Telugu word for 'ten,' is used in the numerals from 
eleven to eighteen inclusive. Between this 'padi ' and the units which 
follow, each of which,, with the exception of 'miindru,' three, and 
' nalu/ four, commences with a vowel, ' n ' is inserted for the preven- 
tion of hiatus, where the modern Tamil would have used ' v.' The 
euphonic character of this Tamil 'n' will appear on comparing the 
Tamil numerals with those of the Telugu, in most of which 'h' is used 
instead of ' n :' — e.g., 

Telugu. Tamil. 










In the Tamil compound numeral, 'padi-(n)-mundru,' thirteen, we find 
the same ' n ' used as in the previous examples, though there is no 
hiatus to be prevented. The Telugu has here ' pada-mudu ;' the Cana- 
rese, ' hadi-muru ;' and as the Canarese uses ' n,' like the Tamil, in all 
the other compound numbers between ^eleven' and 'eighteen' inclu- 
sive, and dispenses with it here, I think it is to be concluded, that in 
the Tamil ' padi(n)m.undin," the ' n ' has crept in through the influence 
of the numerals on each side of it, and in accordance with the euphonic 
tendencies of the language in general. 

We have an indubitable instance of the use of 'n,' even in common 
Tamil, to prevent hiatus, in appellative nouns ending in ' ei :' e.g., when 
an appellative noun is formed from ' ilei,' yoivth, or young, by annexing 
' an,' the sign of the masc. sing., the compound is not ' ilei-(y)-an,' 
but ' ijei-(nj)-an ' or even ' ilei-(n)-an.' 'iij' is merely a more liquid 
form of 'n/ and in Malayalam regularly replaces 'n' in the pronoun 
of the lirst person. Probably also ' manar,' the epicene plural of the 
future tease of the Tamil verb in some of the poets, is for 'ma-ar;' 
e.g., ' enma-(n)-ar,' they will say, for 'enmai,' and that for 'enbar,' the 
more common form. 

There is thus reason to suppose, that originally the Tamil agreed 
with the Telugu in using a nasal instead of a semi-vowel, to keep 
contiguous vowels separate. It may be objected that ' n' evinces no 
tendency to change into ' v.' I admit this; but if we suppose ' m,' not 
' n/ to have been the nasal which was originally employed for this 


purpose,. every difSculty will disappear, for 'm' readily changes on the 
one hand to 'v,' and on the other to 'n.' Nor is it a merely gratuitous 
supposition that the Telugu may have used ' m' at a -former period 
instead of * n,' for we have already noticed that ' ni' or ' nn,' the 
euphonic equivalents of 'n,' are interchangeable in certain conjunctions 
with the *anuswara' or assimilating 'm;' that in two importaynt instances 
(the copulative particle and the aorist formative) the 'n' of the 
Telugu replaces an older ' m ' of the Tamil; and that in Sanscrit 
also, instead of the ' n ' which is ordinarily inserted between certain 
pronominal bases and their case-terminationsj an older 'm' is some- 
times employed. It may also be noticed that the ' ni ' or ' nu,' which 
may be considered as the euphonic suffix of the accusative in Telugu, 
is replaced in Old Canarese by ' m.' 

The reader cannot fail to have observed that whilst the Dravidian 
languages accord to a certain extent with the Sanscrit in the point 
which has now been discussed, they accord to a much larger extent, 
with the Greek, and in one particular (the prevention of hiatus 
between the contiguous vowels of separate words) with the Greek alone. 

It is impossible to suppose that the Dravidian languages borrowed 
this usage from the Sanscrit, seeing that it occupies a much less 
important place in the Sanscrit than in the Dravidian languages, and 
has been much less fully developed. 

It should be mentioned here that the letter 'r' is in some instances 
used to prevent hiatus in each of the Dravidian idioms. 

In Tamil, 'ka,' the imperative singular of the verb to preserve, 
becomes in the plural, not 'ka-(v)-um,' but 'ka-(r)-um.' The Canarese 
in certain cases inserts * r ' or ' ar ' between the crude noun and the 
case terminations, instead of the more common ' v,' 'n,' or 'd;' e.g., 
' karid'-ar-a,' of that which is blaeh. The Telugu inserts ' r ' in a more 
distinctively euphonic manner between certain nouns and 'alu,' the 
suffix by which the feminine gender is sometimes denoted; e.g., 'sun- 
daru-(r)-alu,' a handsome woman. Compare the latter with the Tamil 
' soundariya-(v)-al,' in which the same separation is effected by the 
use of the more common euphonic ' v.' 

The ' d ' which intervenes between the ' i ' of the preterite verbal 
participle and the suffixes of many Canarese verbs {e.g., ' madi-(d)-a,' 
that did), though probably in its origin a sign of the preterite, is now 
used simply as an euphonic insertion. 'This 'd' becomes invariably 
'n' in Telugu and Tamil; and in Tamil it is sometimes softened 
further into ' y.' ' t ' is stated to be used in Telugu for a 
similar purpose, viz., to prevent hiatus between certain nouns of 
quality and the nouns which are qualified by them ; e.g., ' kaaaku-t- 

136 SOUNDS. 

amma,' a sharp arrow, but I have no doubt that this 't' is identical 
with 'ti,' and originally an inflexional particle, 'g' is, in some 
instances, used by the Telugu to prevent hiatus, or at least as an 
euphonic formative, where the Tamil would prefer to use 'v;' e.g., 
the ' rational ' plural noun of number, six persons, may either be 
' aru(g)ur-u,' or ' aru(v)ur-u :' probably ' kadu,' ke, for ' vadu,' is 
another instance of the optional use of 'g' for 'y" in Telugu. It 
is used euphonically, instead of the ' y ' euphonic of the Tamil, in such 
words as ' tandri-(g)-ar-n,' fathers (used honorifically to signify 
faiher'), compared with the Tamil ' tandei-(y)-ar.' 

Harmonic Sequence op Vowels. — In all the languages of the 
Scythian group (Finnish, Turkish, Mongolian, Manchu), but especially 
in Manchu, a law has been observed, which may be called ' the law 
of harmonic sequence.' The law is, that a given vowel occurring in 
one syllable of a word, or in the root, requires an analogous vowel, 
i.e., a vowel belonging to the same set (of which sets there are in the 
Turkish four) in the following syllables of the same word or in the 
particles appended to it, which, therefore, alter their vowels accord- 
ingly. This rulei of which some traces remain even in the modem 
Persian, appears to pervade all the Scythian languages; and has been 
regarded as a confirmation of the theory tha.t all those languages have 
sprung from a common origin. 

In Telugu a similar law of attraction, or harmonic sequence, is 
found to exist. The range of its operation is restricted to two vowels 
'i^ and 'u;' but in priirciple it appears to be identical with the 
Scythian law, ' u ' being changed into ' i,' and ' i ' into ' u,' according 
to the nature of the preceding vowel. Thus the copulative particle is 
' ni ' after ' i,' ' i,' ' ei j' aud ' nu ' after ' u ' and the other vowels. 
' ku,' the sign of the dative case, becomes in like manner 'ki' after 
' i,' ' 1,' and ' ei.' 

In the above mentioned instances it is the vowels of the appended 
particles which are changed through the attraction of the vowels of 
the words to which they are suffixed : but in a large number of cases 
Uie suffixed particles retain their own vowels, and draw the vowels 
of the verb or noun to which they are suffixed, as also the vowels of 
any particles that may be added to them, into harmony with them- 
selves. Thus, the Telugu pluralising termination or suffix being 'lu,' 
the plural of ' katti,' a knife, would naturally be ' kattilu ;' but the 
vowel of the suffix is too powerful for that of the base, and accord- 
ingly the plural becomes ' kattnlu.' So also, whilst the singular dative 
is ' katti-ki,' the dative plural is, not ' kattila-ki,' but ' kattnla-ku j' 


for ' la,' the pltiral inflexion, has the same power as the pluralising 
particle 'In' to convert 'katti' into 'kattii,' besides being able to 
change ' ki/ the dative post-position of the singular, into ' ku.' 

In the inflexion of verbs, the most influential particles in Telugu 
are those which are marks of time, and by suflSxing which the tenses 
are formed. Through the attraction of those particles, not only the 
vowels of the pronominal fragments which are appended to them, but 
even the secondary vowels' of the verbal root itself, are altered into 
harmony with the vowel of the particle of time. Thus, from 
* kalngu,' to he able, ' du,' the aorist particle, and ' nu,', the abbrevia- 
tion of the pronoun ' nenu,' /, is formed the aorist first person singular 
' kalngu-du-nu,' / am Me. On the other hand, the past verbal par- 
ticiple of 'kalngu,' is not ' kalugi ' but ' kaligi,' through the attraction 
of the final 'i' — the characteristic of the tense; and the preterite 
of the first person singular is not ' kalugi-ti-nu,' but 'kaligi-ti-ni.' 
Thus the verbal root 'kalu ' becomes ' kali;' ' nn,' the abbreviation of 
' nenu,' becomes ' ni ;' and both have by these changes been brought 
into harmony with ' ti,' an intermediate particle, which is probably an 
ancient sign of the preterite. 

This remarkable law of the Telugu phonetic system evidently 
accords with the essential principles of the law of harmonic sequence 
by which the Scythian languages are characterised, and differs widely 
from the prevailing usage of the Indo-European languages. The 
change which is apparent in the pronominal terminations of the 
various tenses of the Telugu verb {e.g., ' nu ' in the first person of 
the present tense, ' ni ' in the preterite), have been compared with 
the variation in Greek and Latin of the pronominal termina,tions 
of the verb according to the tense: but the change in Greek and 
Latin arises merely from euphonic corruption; whereas the Dravi- 
dian change takes place in accordance with a regular fixed phonic 
law, the operation of which is still apparent in every part of the 

Though I have directed attention only to the examples of this 
law which are furnished by the Telugu, in which it is most fully 
developed, traces of its existence could easily be pointed out in the 
other dialects. Thus in the Canarese verbal inflexions, the final 
euphonic or enuntiative vowel of the personal pronouns is ' u,' 'e,' or 
' i,' according to the character of the preceding vowel ; • e.g., ' madut- 
tev-e,' we do, < maduttir-i,' ye do, 'madidev-u,' we did. If in the 
means employed to prevent hiatus between contiguous vowels, the 
Dravidian languages appeared to have been influenced by Indo- 
European usages, still more decided traces of Scythian influences and 

138 SOUNDS. 

a Scythian relationship may be noticed in the phonetic law now 

Peinciples of Syllabation. — The chief peculiarity of Draridian 
syllabation is its extreme simplicity and dislike of compound or 
concurrent consonants ; and this peculiarity characterizes the Tamil, 
the most early cultivated member of the family, in a more marked 
degree than any other Dr&vidian language. 

In Telxigu, Cauarese, and Malayalam, the great majority of primi- 
tive Dravidian -words, i.e., words which have not been derived from 
Sanscrit or altered through Sanscrit influences, and in Tamil all words 
without exception, including even Sanscrit derivatives, are divided 
into syllables on the following plan. Double or treble consonants at 
the beginning of syllables, like ' str ' in ' strength,' are altogether inad- 
missible. At the beginning not only of the first syllable of every 
■word, but also of every succeeding syllable, only one consonant is 
allowed. If in the middle of a word of several syllables, one syllable 
ends with a consonant, and the succeeding cue commences with 
another consonant, the concurrent consonants must be euphonically 
assimilated, or else a vowel must be inserted between them. At the 
conclusion of a word, double and treble consonants, like ' gth ' in 
' strength,' are as inadmissible as at the beginning : and every word 
must terminate, in Telugu and Canarese, in a rowel ; in Tamil, either 
in a vowel or in a single semi- vowel, as ' 1 ' or ' r,' or in a single 
nasal, as 'n' or 'm.' It is obvious that this plan of syllabation is 
extremely unlike that of the Sanscrit. 

The only double consonants which can stand together in the 
middle of a word in Tamil without an intervening vowel, are as 
follows. The various nasals, ' ng,' ' nj,' ' n,' ' n,' and ' m,' may 
precede the sonant of the ' varga' to which they belong; and hence, 
'ng-g,' 'nj-s,' 'n-d,' ' n-d,' 'm-b,' may concur; also 'ngng,' ' njnj,' 
' nn,' ' nn,' ' mm,' ' nm,' and ' nm :' the doubled surds ' kk,' ' chch,' 
'tt,' 'tt,' 'pp,' '11,' 'rr' (pronounced 'ttr'): also 'tk' and 'tp;' 
' Rk,' ' Rch,' and ' Kp ;' ' yy,' ' 11,' ' vv ;' and finally ' ur,' pronounced 
' ndr.' The only treble consonants which can coalesce in Tamil under 
any circumstances, are the very soft, liquid ones, ' rnd ' and ' ynd.' 
Tamilian laws of sound allow only the above mentioned consonants 
to stand together in the middle of words without the intervention of a 
vowel. All other consonants must be assimilated, that is, the first 
must be made the same as the second, or else a vowel must be 
inserted between them to render each capable of being pronounced by 
Tamilian organs. In the other Dravidian dialects, through the 


influence of the Sanscrit, nasals are combined, not with sonants only, 
but also with surds ; e.g., ' pamp-u,' Tel., to send, ' ent-n,' Can., eight. 
The repugnance of the Tamil to this practice is so very decided, that 
it must be concluded to be Un-Dravidian. 

Grenerally ' i ' is the vowel which is used for the purpose of sepa- 
rating unassimilable consonants, as appears from the manner in which 
Sanscrit derivatives are Tamilised. Sometimes ' u ' is employed 
instead of ' i.' Thus the Sanscrit preposition ' pra ' is changed into 
' pira ' in the compound derivatives which have been borrowed by 
the Tamil; whilst 'Krishna' becomes ' Kiruttina-n ' (' tt ' instead of 
'sh'), or even 'Kittina-n.' Even such soft conjunctions of consonants 
as the Sanscrit ' dya,' ' dva,' ' gya,' &c., are separated in Tamil into 
' diya,' ' diva,' and ' giya.' 

Another rule of Tamil syllabation is, that when the first consonant 
of an unassimilable double consonant is separated from the second and 
formed into a syllable by the intervention of a vowel, every such 
consonant (not being a semi-vowel) must be doubled before the vowel 
is suffixed. Thus, 'tatva,' Sans., nature, becomes in Tamil 'tat(t)uva ;' 
' aprayojana,' unprofitable, ' ap(p)iray6iana.' 

In consequence of these peculiarities of syllabation and the 
agglutinative structure of its inflexions, the Tamil language appears 
very verbose and lengthy when compared with the Sanscrit and the 
languages of Europe. Nevertheless, each syllable being exceedingly 
simple, and the great majority of the syllables being short, rapidity 
of enunciation is made to compensate for the absence of compres- 

The mental physiology of the diflerent races may be illustrated, 
perhaps, by their languages. The languages of the Indo-European 
class are fond of combining clashing consonants, and welding them 
into one syllable by sheer force of enunciation; and it is certain that 
strength and directness of character and scorn of difficulties are cha- 
racteristics not only of the Indo-European languages, but of the races 
by which those languages are spoken. On the other hand, the 
Dr&vidian family of languages prefers softening difficulties away to 
grappling with them; it aims at ease and softness of enunciation 
rather than impressiveness : multiplying vowels, separating con- 
sonants, assimilating diiferences of sound, and lengthening out its 
words by successive agglutinations, it illustrates the characteristics 
of the races by which it is spoken by the soft, sweet, garrulous 
effemiuancy of its utterances. 

Whilst the syllabation of the Dravidian languages difiers widely 
from that of the Indo-European and Semitic families of tongues, it 

140 SOUNDS. 

exhibits many points of resemblance to the system of the Scythian 
group, and especially to that of the Finnish or Ugrian family. 

The Finnish, the Hungarian, and other languages of the same 
stock, allow of only one consonant at the beginning of a syllable. 
When foreign words which begin with two consonants are pro- 
nounced by a Magyar, the consonants are separated by the insertion 
of a vowel; e.g., 'kral' becomes ' kiraly.' Where the first con- 
sonant is a sibilant, it is formed into a distinct syllable by a prefixed 
vowel; e.jr., 'schola' becomes 'iskola.' How perfectly in accordance 
with Tamil this is, is known to every European resident in Southern 
India, who has heard the natives speak of establishing, or sending 
their children to, an English ' iskool." The same peculiarity has 
been discovered in the language of the Scythic tablets of Behistun. 
In rendering the word 'Sparta' into Scythian, the translator is found 
to have written it with a preceding ' i ; e.g., ' Isparta,' precisely as it 
would be written in the present day in Magyar or in Tamil. 

I do not suppose the Tamilian system of separating contiguous 
consonants by a vowel to be older than the Indo-European system of 
combining them into one syllable. On the contrary, many of the 
lexical affinities which will be found in the section of ' Roots ' and in 
the ' Glossarial Affinities,' appear to me to prove that the Dravi- 
dian roots were originally monosyllabic, and that the tendency to 
separate consonants by the insertion of a vowel, was not a charac- 
teristic of the older speech, whatever it may have been, from which 
the DrS,vidian family branched off. The inference which I draw is, 
that as a similar phonetic peculiarity appears in the Ugrian family 
of languages, and is found in the Behistun tablets to have been a 
characteristic of the oldest Scythian tongue of which written records 
survive, the Dravidian languages probably claim kindred rather with 
the Scythian group than with the Indo-European. 

Minor Dialectic Peculiarities. — 

1. Euphonic displacement of CotisorwMs. 

In the Dr&vidian languages, consonants are sometimes found to 
change places, through haste or considerations of euphony. 

We have an example of this in the Tamil 'tasei,' flesh, which by 
a displacement of consonants, and a consequent' change of the surd 
into the sonant, has become '^adei. ' kndirei,' a horse, is in this 
manner often pronounced by the vulgar in the Tamil country 'knridei :' 
and looking at the root-syllable of the Telugn word, ' gur-rann,' it is 
hard to decide whether ' kuridei ' or ' kudirei ' is to be regarded as 
the true Dravidian original. In many instances, through the opera- 


tion of this diaplacement, we find one form of a word in Tamil, and 
another, considerably different, in Telugu or Canarese. Thus, ' koppul,' 
Tam., the navel, is in Telugu 'pokkili;' and 'padar,' Tarn., to spread 
as a a-eeper, is in Canarese ' patad-u.' In comparing words in the 
different dialects, it is always necessary to bear in mind the frequent 
recurrence of this displacement. 

2. Euphonic displacement of Vowels. 

In Telugu we find many instances of a still more curious displace- 
pient of vowels. This displacement occurs most commonly in words 
which consist of three short syllables beginning with a vowel; and 
when it occurs, we find that the second vowel has disappeared, and 
that the first vowel has migrated from the beginning of the word to 
the second syllable, and at the same time been lengthened to com- 
pensate for the vowel that is lost. I take as an example the Dravi- 
dian demonstrative pronouns, remote and proximate ; and I select the 
plural, rather than the singular, to get rid of the disturbing element 
of a difference which exists in the formatives. In Tamil those pro- 
nouns are 'avar,' i/tey, remote; and 'ivar,' <Aey, proximate, correspond- 
ing to ' illi ' and ' hi.' The Canarese adds ' u ' to each word, so that 
they become ' avaru ' and ' ivaru.' By analogy this is the form we 
should expect to find in Telugu also ; but on examination, we find in 
Telugu ' varn ' instead of ' avaru,' and ' viru ' instead of ' ivaru ;' 
a change which has evidently been produced by the rejection of the 
second vowel, and the substitution for" it of a lengthened form of 
the first. The neuter demonstrative pronouns of the Telugu being 
dissyllables, there is no displacement in their nominatives ('adi,' 
that, 'idi,' this, corresponding closely to the Tamil ' adu,' 'idu'); 
but when they become trisyllables by the addition of the inflexional 
suffix 'ni,' we find a displacement similar to that which has been 
described : e.c/., ' adini,' it or of it, becomes ' dani,' and ' idini ' becomes 
' dini.' 

Many ordinary substantives undergo in Telugu a similar change ; 
e.g., ' ural,' Tamil, a mortar, pronounced ' oral,' should by analogy be 
' oralu ' in Telugu ; but instead of ' oralu ' we find ' r61u.' 

As soon as this peculiar law of the displacement of vowels is 
brought to light, a large number of Telugu words and forms which at 
first sight appear to be widely different from the Tamil and Canarese, 
are found to be the same or but slightly altered. Thus ' k&du,' Tel., 
it will not be, or it is not, is found to be the same as the Tamil ' agSdu;' 
' ledu,' ihere is not, corresponds to the Tamil ' illadu,:' and by an 
extension of a similar rule to monosyllables, we find ' 16,' Tel., within, 

142 SOUNDS. 

to be identical vrith ' nl/ Tain.; and 'nu,' Tel., the copulative particle, 
<to be identical with ' um,' Tam. 

A similar rule of displacement appears in the Tulu, though in 
a less degree. 

3. Rejection of Radical Consonants. 

The Telugu evinces a tendency to reject or soften away consonants 
in the middle of words, even though such consonants should belong to 
the root, not to the formative. Thus, ' neruppu,' Tamil, fire, is 
softened into ' nippu ;' ' elumbu,' a hone, into ' emmu ;' ' udal ' (pro- 
nounced 'odal'); body, into 'ollu ;' ' porudu,' time, into 'poddu;' 'erudu,' 
an ox, into ' eddu ;' ' marundu,' medicine, into ' mandu.' 

Something similar to this process <takes place, but not so systema- 
tically, in vulgar colloquial Tamil. 

In a few instances, on the other hand, the Telugu appears to have 
retained a radical letter which has disappeared from the Tamil. For 
example, if we search for the origin of ' odu,' with, together with, the 
suffix of the Tamil conjunctive case, no trace of its origin is apparent 
in Tamil. On examining the Telugu, we find that the corresponding 
suffix is ' toda.' It has already been shown that ' d ' in Telugu cor- 
responds to 'r' in Tamil; and consequently 'toda' would become in 
Tamil 't6ra.' 'tora' (tora-mei) is actually contained in Tamil, and 
means companionship ; and thus by the help of the Telugu we find 
that the Tamil ' 6du ' and ' tora ' are virtually identical ; that the mean- 
ing of the suffix ' 6du ' exactly accords witn its use ; and that there is 
also reason to conclude another pair of similar words to be allied, viz., 
' udan,' with, a suffix of the conjunctive case in itself a noun signify- 
ing connection, and ' tu4ar,' a verbal root, to follow, to join on. 

4. Aexnt. 

It is generally stated that the Dravidian languages are destitute of 
accent, and that emphasis is conveyed by the addition of the ' e ' 
emphatic alone. Though, however, the Dr&vidian languages are 
destitute of the Indo-Greek system of accents, the use of accent is not 
altogether unknown to them ; and the position of the Dr&vidian accent, 
always an accute one, accords well with the agglutinative structure 
of Dri.vidian words. The accent is upon the first syllable of the 
Word, that syllable alone, in most cases, constituting the base, prior to 
every addition of formatives and inflexional forms, and remaining 
always unchanged. The first syllable of every word may be regarded 
as the natural seat of accent; but if the word is compounded, a 
secondary accent distinguishes the first syllable of the second member 
of the compound. 


As in other languages, so in the Dravidian, accent is carefully to 
be distinguished from quantity; and in enunciation an accented short 
vowel is more emphatic than an unaccented long one. Thus in the 
intransitive Tamil verh, ' adangugiaadu,' it is contained, the second 
syllable ' ang ' is long by position j yet the only accent is that which 
is upon the first syllable ' ad,' which, though shorter than the second, 
is more emphatic. Another example is furnished by the compound 
verb ' udeind'-irukkiRadu,' it is broken, literally having been broken it 
is. Though in this instance the second syllable of the first word 
of the compound is long, not only by position, but by nature, and the 
second syllable of the auxiliary word is long by position, yet the 
principal accent rests upon the first syllable of the first word, ' ud,' 
the most emphatic portion of the compound, and the secondary accent 
rests upon ' ir,' the first syllable and crude base of the auxiliary ; 
hence it is pronounced ' udeindirukkiRadu,' every syllable, except the 
two accented ones, being enunciated lightly and with rapidity. 

The general rule of the Dravidian languages which fixes the accent 
in the first or root-syllable, admits of one exception. In poetical 
Tamil one and the same form is used as the third person of the verb 
(in each tense, number, and gender) and as a participial noun ; e.g., 
' oduvan,' means either he will read, or one who reads, i.e. a reader. 
Even in the colloquial dialect, the third person neuter singular, espe- 
cially in the future tense, is constantly used in both senses; e.g., 
' oduvadu,' means either it will read, or that which will read, or 
abstractedly, yet more commonly still, a reading, or to read. 

The same form being thus used in a douhle sense, Tamil gram- 
marians have determined that the difference in signification should be 
denoted by a difference in accent. Thus when ' oduvan ' is a verb, 
meaning he will read, the accent is left in its natural place, on the root 
syllable, e.g., ' 6duvau ; but when it is an appellative or participial 
noun, meaning he who reads, the pronominal termination is to be 
pronounced more emphatically, that is, it becomes the seat of accent,. 
e.g., 'oduvdn.' 



Before proceeding to examine and compare the grammatical 
forms of the Dravidian languages, it is desirable to examine the 
characteristics of Dravidian roots, and the nature of the changes 
which are effected in them by the addition of the grammatical forms. ' 
The manner in which various languages deal with their roots is 
strongly illustrative of their essential spirit and distinctive character; 
and it is chiefly with reference to their differences in this particular, 
that the languages of Europe and Asia admit of being arranged into 

Those classes are as follows: — (1.) The monosyllabic, uncom- 
pounded, or isolative languages, in which roots admit of no change or 
combination, and in which ail grammatical relations are expressed 
either by auxiliary words or phrases, or by the position of words in a 
sentence. (2.) The Semitic or intro-mutative languages, in which 
grammatical relations are expressed by internal changes in the vowels 
of dissyllabic roots. (3.) The agglutinative languages,, in which 
grammatical relations are expressed by affixes or suffixes added to the 
root or compounded with it. lu the latter class I include both the 
Indo-European and the Scythian groups of tongues. They differ, 
indeed, greatly from one another in details, and that not only in their' 
vocabularies, but also in their grammatical forms ; yet I include them 
both in one class, because they appear to agree, or to have originally 
agreed, in the principle of expressing grammatical relation by means 
of the agglutination of auxiliary words. The difference between 
them is rather in degree than in essence. Agreeing in original 
construction, they differ considerably in development. In the highly 
cultivated languages of the Indo-European family, post-positional 
additions have gradually been melted down into inflexions, and some- 
times even blended with the root ; whilst in the less plastic languages 


of the Scythian group, the principle of agglutination has been more 
faithfully retained, and every portion and particle of every compound 
word has not only maintained its original position, but held fast its 
separate individuality. In this particular the Dravidian languages 
agree in general with the Scythian ; and hence in each dialect of the 
family, there is, properly speaking, only one declension and one 

I here proceed to point out the most notable peculiarities of the 
Dravidian root-system, and of the manner in which roots are affected 
by inflexional combinations. 

Arrangement op DrIvidian Roots into Classes. — Dravidian 
roots, considered by themselves, apart from formative additions of 
every kind, may be arranged into the three classes of — (1.) verbal 
roots, capable of being used also as nouns, which constitute by far 
the most numerous class ; (2.) Nouns which cannot be traced up 
to any extant verbs ; and (3.) Particles of which the origin is 

1. Verbal Roots. — The Dravidian languages differ from the Sans- 
crit and Greek, and accord with the languages of the Scythian group, 
in generally using the crude root of the verb, without any addition, 
as the imperative of the second person singular. This is the general 
rule, and the few apparent exceptions that exist are to be regarded 
either as corruptions, or as euphonic or honorific forms of the im- 
perative. In a few instances, both in Tamil and in Telugu, the second 
person singular of the imperative has cast off its final consonant, 
which is generally in such cases a soft guttural or a liquid ; but in 
those instances the unchanged verbal theme is found in the less used 
second person plural, or in the infinitive. 

A considerable proportion of Dravidian roots are used either as 
verbal themes or as nouns, without addition or alteration in either 
case ; and the class in which they are to be placed, depends solely on 
the connection. The use of any such root as a noun may be, and 
probably is, derived from its use as a verb, which would appear to 
be the primary condition and use of every word belonging to this 
class ; but as such words, when used as nouns, are used without the 
addition of formatives or any other marks of derivation, they can 
scarcely be regarded as derivatives from verbs; but in respect of 
grammatical form, the verb and the noun must be considered either 
as twin sisters or as identical. The following will sufl3.ce as examples 
of this two-fold condition or use of the same root :— ' karei,' Tam., as 


146 ROOTS. 

a verb, means to melt, to he washed away; as a noun, a hank, a shore; 
' alei,' Tarn., as a verb, to wander; as a noun, a wave. In these 
instances it is evident that the radical meaning of the word is unre- 
strained, and free to take either a verbal or a nominal direction. 
Moreover, as the Dravidian adjective is not separate from the noun, 
but is generally identical with it, each root may be said to be capable 
of a three-fold use; viz., (1) as a noun, (2) as an adjective, and 
(3) as a verb. Thus, in Tamil, ' kad-u,' if used as the nominative 
of a verb, or followed by case terminations, is a noun, and means 
pungency or sharpness: if it is placed before another noun for the 
purpose of qualifying it, it becomes an adjective ; e.g., ' kadu nadei,' 
a sharp walk; ' kadu vay,' the tiger, literally sliarp mouth : and when 
it is followed by verbal suffixes, it becomes a verb; e.g., ' kadu-kkum,' 
it is or will he sharp or pungent. With the formative addition ' gu,' 
the same root becomes ' kadu-gu,' mustard. 

In these and in all similar instances, the quantity of the root 
vowel remains unchanged; whereas in those few instances in which 
the Sanscrit root is not tied to a single condition, the nominal and 
verbal forms differ in the quantity of their root vowel ; e.g., compare 
' vach-as ' (for ' vak-as '), of speech, with ' vak-mi,' I speak. 

It would appear that originally there was no difference whatever 
in any instance between the verbal and the nominal form of the root 
in any Dravidian dialect; gradually, however, as the dialects became 
more cultivated, and as logical distinctness was felt to be desirable, a 
separation commenced to take place. This separation was effected 
by modifying the theme by some formative addition, when it was 
desired to restrict it to the one purpose alone, and prevent it from 
being used for the other also. 

In many instances the theme is still used in the poetry, in accord- 
ance with ancient usages, indifferently either as a verb or as a noun ; 
but in prose more commonly as a noun only, or as a verb only. 

(2.) Nouns. — In Sanscrit and the languages allied to it, all words, 
with the exception of a few pronouns and particles, are derived by 
native grammarians from verbal roots. In the Dr&vidian languages 
the number of nouns which are incapable of being traced up or 
resolved into verbs, is more considerable. Still such nouns bear but a 
small proportion to the entire number; and not a few which are 
generally considered to be underived roots, are in reality verbal nouns 
or verbal derivatives. 

Many Dravidian dissyllabic nouns have for their second syllable 
' al,' a particle which is a commonly used formative of verbal nouns in 


Tamil, and a sign of the infinitive in Canarese and Gond. All nouns 
of this class may safely be concluded to have sprung from verbal 
roots. In some instances their themes are discoverable, in others no 
trace of the verb from which they have been derived is now appa- 
rent. I cannot doubt that the following Tamil words, generally 
regarded as primitives, are derived from roots which are still in use : 
viz., ' viral,' a finger, from ' viri,' to expand; ' kadal,' the sea, from 
' kada,' to pass heyond; ' manal,' sand, from ' man,' earth; ' kudal,' 
a bowel, and ' kural,' a pipe, from ' kudei,' to hollow out. I cannot 
discover the derivation of ' niral,' shade, ' seval,' a cock, and a few 
similar nouns; nevertheless, judging of them by analogy, I have 
little doubt that they also have been derived from verbal themes. 

There are many nouns denoting primary objects, which in most 
languages are primitive words, but which in the Dravidian languages 
are evidently derived from, or are identical with, extant verbal roots. 
Thus, ' nilam,' Tarn., the ground, is from ' nil,' to stand; ' madu,' an 
ox, is from ' madu,' Can., to do, to worh; ' adu,' a sheep, is identical 
with ' adu,' to frisk; ' kurangu,' a monkey, is from ' kura,' to make a 
noise; ' pagal,' day, as distinguished from night, is from ' pagu,' to 
divide; 'kan,' the eye, is identical with 'kan,' to see; 'mukku,' the 
nose, is from ' mugu,' Can., to smell. Probably also, ' kei,' the hand, 
bears the same relation to ' ge,' Can., to do, which ' kara,' Sans., hand, 
bears to ' kri' or 'kar,' the Sanscrit verb to do. 

Though the greater number of Dravidian nouns are undoubtedly 
to be regarded as verbal derivatives, a certain proportion remain 
which appear to be underived and independent. In this class are to 
be included the personal pronouns; most of the nouns of relation 
which are used as post-positions, answering to the prepositions of 
other languages, such as ' mel,' above, ' kir,' below; and a considerable 
number of common nouns, including names of objects, e.g., 'kal,' foot, 
' man,' earth, ' vin,' the sky, and nouns of quality, e.g., ' kar,' black, 
' vel,' white, ' se,' red, &c. A suspicion may be entertained that some 
of the apparently simple nouns belonging to this class are derived 
from verbal roots which have become obsolete. Thus, ' mun,' before, 
a noun of relation, appears at first sight to be an underived radical, 
yet it is evident that it is connected with ' mudal,' first; and this 
word, being a verbal noun in ' dal,' is plainly derived from a verb in 
'mu,' now lost J so that after all 'mun' itself may be a verbal 

(3.) Particles. — A large majority of the Dravidian post-positions 
and adverbs, and several of the particles employed in nominal and 


148 ROOTS. 

verbal inflexions are in reality verbs or nouns adapted to especial 
uses. Every word belonging to the class of adverbs and prepositions 
in the Dravidian languages is either the infinitive or the participle of 
a verb, or the nominative case of a noun used in a locative sense; 
and even of the inflexional particles which are employed in the declen- 
sion of nouns and in conjugating verbs, several are easily recognized to 
be derived from nouns. Thus, in Telugu, the signs of the instrumental 
ablative, ' che ' and 'cheta,' are the nominative and locative of the word 
hand; and the same case in Tamil is formed by the addition of ' al,' 
which is probably a corruption of 'kal,' in the sense of a channel. So 
also the Tamil 'locative of rest' may be formed by the addition of any 
noun which signifies ' a place;' and the 'locative of separation,' a case 
denoting 'motion from a place,' or rather 'the place from whence 
motion commences,' is formed by the addition of ' il ' or ' in,' which 
means a house. ' 

The same suffix added to the crude aoristic form of the verb, con- 
stitutes the subjunctive case in Tamil, e.g., ' var-il,' if (he, she, it, or 
they) come, literally in (his or their) coming, that is, in the event of 
(his or their) coming. 

Whilst all the post-positional adverbs and some of the inflexional 
particles are certainly derived either from verbs or nouns, there are 
several particles in use in the Dravidian languages which do not 
appear to be connected with any nouns or verbal roots that are now 
extant, and of which the origin is unknown ; e.g., the copulative par- 
ticle, ' nm' in Tamil, 'nu ' in Telugu, and 'u' in Canarese; the suffixes 
of present time, which form the present tense of verbs; viz. 'giR,' in 
Tamil; 'dap,' in ancient, 'utta,' in modern Canarese ; and 'chu' or 'tu,' 
in Telugu; 'd' or 'i,' the suffix of past time, and 'v' or 'b,' the sign 
of the future. 

Of the post-positions, or suffixes, which are used as signs of case, 
some distinctly retain their original meaning ; in some, the original 
meaning shines more or less distinctly through the technical appropri- 
ation ; but no trace whatever remains of the original meaning of ' ku,' 
' ki,' or 'ge,' the sign of the dative, or of ' ei,' ' e,' 'annu,' or ' am,' the 
sign of the accusative. 

The Dravidian dative and accusative have, therefore, assumed the 
character of real grammatical cases ; and in this particular the Dravi- 
dian languages have been brought into harmony with the genius of the 
Indo-European grammar by the literary cultivation which they have 
received. It is impossible, I believe, to identify or connect any of the 
above-mentioned particles with any verbal or nominal roots which are 
now discoverable in the Dravidian languages, as will be shown respect- 


ing each of them in order ; yet it is not only possible hut probable 
that some of them may have sprung from some such origin. 

DrItidian Roots originally Monosyllabic. — It may appear 
at first sight scarcely credible that the Dravidian roots were originally, 
monosyllabic, when it is considered that the majority of the words in 
every Dravidian sentence are longer than those of (perhaps) any other 
language in Asia or Europe {e.g., compare 'irukkiRadu,' Tamil, it is, 
with the Latin ' est '), and are inferior in length only to the words of 
the poly-synthetic languages of America. 

The great length of Dravidian words arises partly from the sepa- 
ration of clashing consonants by the insertion of euphonic vowels, but 
chiefly from the successive agglutination of formative and inflexional 
particles and pronominal fragments. A considerable number of Dra- 
vidian verbal themes, prior to the addition of inflexional forms, are 
trisyllabic ; but it will generally be found that the first two syllables 
have been expanded out of one by the euphonic insertion or addition of 
a vowel; whilst the last syllable of the apparent base is in reality a 
formative addition, which appears to have been merely euphonic in 
origin, but which now serves to distinguish transitive verbs from in- 
transitives. In some instances the first syllable of the verbal theme 
contains the root, whilst the second is a particle anciently added to it 
and compounded with it for the purpose of expanding or restricting the 
signification. The. syllables that are added to the inflexional base are 
those which denote case, tense, person, and number. 

Hence, whatever be the length and complication of Dravidian 
words, they may invariably be traced np to monosyllabic roots, by a 
careful removal of successive accretions. Thus, when we analyse 
'perugugiRadu,' Tam., it increases, we find that the final 'adu,' repre- 
sents the pronoun 'it;' ' giR,' is the sign of the present tense; and 
'perugu,' is the base or verbal theme. Of this base, the final syllable 
' gu,' is only a formative, restricting the verb to an intransitive or 
neuter signification ; and by its removal we come to "^peru,' the real 
root, which is used also as an adjective or noun of quality, signifying 
greatness or great. Nor is even this dissyllable ' peru,' the ultimate 
condition of the root ; it is an euphonized form of ' per,' which is 
found in the adjectives ' per-iya' and ' per-um,' great ; and a lengthened 
but monosyllabic form of the same is ' pSr.' Thus, by successive 
agglutinations, a word of six syllables has been found to grow out of 
one. In all these forms, and under every shape which the word can 
assume, the radical element remains unchanged, or is so slightly changed, 
that it can readily be pointed out by the least experienced scholar. 

150 KOOTS. 

The root always stands out in distinct relief, unobscured, un- 
absorbed, though surrounded by a large family of auxiliary affixes. 
This distinctness and prominence of the radical element in every word 
is a characteristic feature of all the Scythian tongues (e.g., of the 
Turkish and the Hungarian) ; whilst in the Semitic and Indo-Euro- 
pean tongues the root is frequently so much altered that it can scarcely 
be recognised. 

It is desirable here to explain in detail the manner in which Dra- 
vidian roots, originally monosyllabic, have been lengthened by the 
insertion or addition of euphonic vowels, or by formative additions, or 
in both ways. 

Euphonic Lengthening of Roots. — There are two modes in 
which the crude Dravidian root is euphonically lengthened. 

First, by the insertion of an euphonic vowel between the two 
initial consonants of the original base. It has already been shown 
that in the Tamilian or oldest Dravidian system of sounds, a double 
consonant cannot stand at the beginning of any word or syllable. A 
vowel must be inserted, or one of the consonants must be omitted. 
This is invariably the rule in Tamil, and generally so in Telugu ; and 
in the event of a vowel being inserted in the double initial, it is 
obvious that the root, if a monosyllable, will become a dissyllable. 
Thus, ' viri,' Tam., to expand, the origin of ' viral,' a finger, was 
probably at first ' vri.' The double consonant ' vr,' was incapable 
of being pronounced by Tamil organs, and was, therefore, converted 
into a dissyllable by the insertion of a vowel. The probability of the 
change in this instance is strengthened by the circumstance that 
where the Tamil has ' viral,' a finger, the Telugu has first ' vrelu,' and 
finally 'velu.' In the same manner, where the Tamil has 'maram,' 
a tfree (Canarese ' mara'), the Ku has 'mrann,' softened in Telugu into 
' manu ;' and where most of the Dravidian languages have ' tala,' head, 
the Ku has 'tlava;' the final 'vu' being an euphonic addition to 
' tla.' The best proof that in the Dravidian languages dissyllables 
were in this manner lengthened from monosyllables, is furnished by 
the circumstance that all Sanscrit words and particles which com- 
mence with a double consonant, are altered on this very plan when 
they are borrowed by the Tamil; e.g., 'tripti,' satisfaction, is converted 
into 'tirutti,' and 'pra,' the preposition before, into 'pira.' This 
euphonic lengthening out of the crude base by the insertion of an 
euphonic vowel^ is apparent also in those bases which become poly- 
syllabic by the further addition of formatives. Thus, 'tirumbu,' to 
turn, is compounded of ' tiru,' the original base, and ' bu ' (euphonized 


in tte intransitive into 'mbu'), a formative. 'tiru' itself, however 
(answering to ' tiri/ to wander, and to several other related words), 
was doubtless originally a monosyllable, probably 'tri.' We find this 
very form in the Telugu transitive verb, which is ' tri-ppu,' corres- 
ponding to the Tamil ' tiru-ppu ;' with which we may compare the 
Greek ' T^oeVe,' a word which is almost identical in sound as well as 
in signification. 

The second mode in which crude Dravidian roots are lengthened, 
is by the addition of an euplionic vowel to the base. This euphonic 
addition to the final consonant takes place in grammatical Telugu 
and Canarese in the case of all words ending in a consonant, whatever 
be the number of syllables they contain. 

Vowel additions to roots which contain two syllables and upwards, 
are made solely for the purpose of helping the enunciation ; but when 
the additions which have been made to some monosyllabic roots are 
examined, it is found that ,they are intended not merely for vocalisa- 
tion, but rather for euphonization. 

When it is desired merely to help the enunciation of a final 
consonant, ' u ' is the vowel that is ordinarily employed for this pur- 
pose (in Malayalam ' a '), and this ' u ' is uniformly elided when it is 
followed by another vowel : but ' u ' is not the only vowel which is 
added on to monosyllabic roots, though perhaps it is most frequently 
met with; and in some of the instances under consideration, it 
becomes so intimately blended with the real base, that it will not 
consent to be elided ; e.g., ' adu,' Tamil, to he near, the final ' u ' of 
which does not admit of elision, though the crude base is probably 
* ad.' Next to ' u,' the vowel which is most commonly employed is 
'i;' then follows 'a;' then 'e' or 'ei.' Verbal roots borrowed from 
the Sanscrit, have generally ' i ' added to the final consonant in all 
the Dravidian languages; to which the Telugu adds 'nchu,' and the 
Canarese 'su,' formatives which will be noticed afterwards. Thus, 
'sap,' Sans., to curse, is in Tamil 'sabi;' in Telugu, 'sabinchu;' in 
Can., 'sabisu.' On comparing the various Dravidian idioms, it is 
found that all these auxiliary or enunciative vowels are interchange- 
able. Thus, of Tamil verbs in 'a,' 'kada,' to pass, is in Telugu, 'gada- 
chu ;' ' maRa,' to forget, is in Canarese ' mare :' of Tamil verbs in ' i,' 
'kadi,' to bite, is in Telugu 'kara-chu;' 'geli,' to wm, is in Canarese 
'gillu.' Of Tamil verbs in 'ei,' 'mulei,' to sprout, is in Telugu, 
'moluchn.' These final vowels being thus interchangeable equiva- 
lents, it is evident that they are intended merely for the promotion of 
euphony, and as helps to enunciation, that they are not essential parts 

152 BOOTS. 


of the themes to which they are suffixed, and do not add anything to 
their meaning. 

Formative Additions to Roots.— Fonnative suffixes are ap- 
pended to the crude bases of nouns, as well as to those of verbs. They 
are added not only to verbal derivatives, but to nouns which appear 
to be primitive; but they are most frequently appended to verbs 
properly so called, of the inflexional bases of which they form the 
last syllable, generally the third. Whatever may have been the 
origin of these particles, they now serve to distinguish transitive 
verbs from intransitives, and the adjectival form of nouns from that 
which stands in an isolated position and is used as a nominative. In 
Tamil, in which these formatives are most largely used and most fully 
developed, the initial consonant of the formative is single when it 
marks the intransitive or neuter signification of the verb, or that 
form of the noun which governs verbs or is governed by them : when 
it marks the transitive or active voice of the verb, or the adjectival 
form of the noun, viz., that form of the noun which is assumed by 
the first of two nouns that stand in a case relation to one another, the 
initial consonant of the formative is doubled, and is at the same time 
changed from a sonant into a surd. The single consonant, which is 
characteristic of the intransitive formative, is often euphonised by 
prefixing a nasal, without, however, altering its signification or value. 
The Tamilian formatives are — (1.) 'gu' or ' ngn,' and its transitive 
' kku,' answering to the Telugu ' chu ' or ' nchu ;' (2.) ' iu ' and its 
transitive 'ssu' or 'chu;' (3.) ' du ' or'ndu,' and its transitive 'ttu;' 
and (4.) 'bu' or 'mbu,' with its transitive 'ppu.' 

Though I call these particles ' formatives,' they are not regarded 
in this light by native grammarians. They are generally suffixed 
even to the imperative, which is supposed to be the crude form of the 
verb; they form a portion of the infiexional base, to which all signs 
of gender, number, and case, and also of mood and tense, are 
appended; and hence it was natural that native grammarians should 
regard them as constituent elements of the root. I have no doubt, 
however, of the propriety of representing them as formatives, seeing 
that they contribute nothing to the signification of the root, and that 
it is only by means of a further change, i.e., by being hardened and 
doubled, that they express a grammatical relation, viz., the difference 
which subsists between the transitive and the intransitive forms of 
verbs, and between adjectival and independent nouns. 

In this particular perhaps more than in any other, the high 


grammatical caltivation of the Tamil has developed a tendency to 
imitate the Indo-Earopean tongues by retaining syllables of which it 
has lost the original distinctive meaning, and combining such syllables 
after a time with the radical element of the word, or using them for a 
new purpose. 

I proceed to consider the various formatives more particularly, 
with examples of their use and force. 

(1.) 'gu' or 'ngu,' with its transitive 'kku.' Tamil examples; 
' peru-gu,' intrans., to become increased, ' peru-kku,' trans., to came to 
increase; ' ada-ngu,' to he contained, ' ada-kku,' to contain. So also in 
the case of dissyllabic roots, e.g., ' a-gu,' to become, ' a-kku,' to make; 
' ni-ngn,' to quit, ' ' ni-kku,' to put away. There is a considerable 
number of nouns, chiefly trisyllabic, in which the same formative is 
employed. In this case, however, there is no difi^erence between the 
isolated shape of the noun and the adjectival shape. Whatever par- 
ticle is used, whether ' gu,' ' ngu,' or ' kku,' it retains its position in 
all circumstances unchanged. Examples : ' pada.-gu,' a boat, ' kura- 
ngu,' a mjonkey, 'sara-kku,' any article of merchandize. Prom a com- 
parison of the above examples, it is evident that 'ng' is equivalent 
to ' g,' and euphonized from it ; and that ' ng,' equally with ' g,' 
becomes ' kk ' in a transitive connection. 

In a few instances, ' kku,' the transitive formative, is altered in 
colloquial Tamil usage to ' chu,' according to a law of interchange 
already noticed; e.g., 'kaykku,' ifO 6oiZ (crude root 'kay'), is generally 
written and pronounced 'kaychu.' This altered form of the sign 
of the transitive, which is the exception in Tamil, is in Telugu 
the rule of the language, ' kku ' being regularly replaced in Telugu 
by 'chu.' 

In Telugu the intransitive formative ' gu ' is not euphonically 
altered into 'ngu' as in Tamil; but an obscure nasal, the half 
' aniiswara,' often precedes the ' gu,' and shows that in both languages 
the same tendency to nasalisation exists. It is remarkable, that 
whilst the Tamil often nasalises the formative of the neuter, and never 
admits a nasal into the transitive formative, the Telugu, in a large 
number of cases, nasalises the transitive, and generally leaves the 
neuter in its primitive, un-nasalised conditioij. Thus in Telugu, 
whenever the base terminates in 'i' (including a large number of 
Sanscrit derivatives), 'chu' is converted into'nchu;' though neither 
in this nor in any case does the 'kku' of the Tamil change into 
' ngku.' E.g., from ' ratti,' double, the Tamil forms ' ratti-kka ' (in- 
finitive), to double; whilst the Telugu form of the same is ' retti-ncha.' 
' manni-ncha,' to forgive, in Telugu, corresponds in the same manner to 

154 BOOTS. 

the Tamil ' manni-kka.' In some cases in Telugu the euphonic nasal 
is prefixed to ' chu,' not after ' i ' only, but after other vowels besides. 
Thus, ' perugu,' to increase, neut., is the same in Tamil and in Telugu. 
but instead of finding 'peru-chu' to be the transitive or active 
(corresponding to the Tamil transitive ' peru-kku '), we find ' penchu,' 
corrupted from 'peru-chu:' so also instead of 'pagu-kku,' Tam., io 
divide, we find in Telugu 'panchu,' for 'pagu-nchu.' 

The identity of the Tamil ' k ' and the Telugu ' ch ' appears also 
from the circumstance that in many cases ' vu ' may optionally be 
used in Telugu instead of ' chu.' This use of ' vu ' as the equivalent 
of ' chu ' points to a time when ' gu ' was the formative in ordinary 
use in Telugu as in Tamil; for ' ch' has no tendency to be converted 
into ' V,' ' b,' or ' p,' whilst ' k ' or ' g,' constantly evinces this ten- 
dency to change into ' v,' not only in Telugu, but also in colloquial 
Tamil; and 'v' is regularly interchangeable with 'b' and its surd 


I conclude, therefore, that ' gu ' was the original shape of this 
formative in the Dra vidian languages; and that its doubled, surd 
shape, ' kku,' the formative of transitives, was softened in Telugu into 
'chu,' and in Canarese still further softened into 'in.' 

(2.) 'su,' and its, transitive 'ssu,' pronounced 'chu.' — This formative 
is very rare in Tamil, and the examples which the Telugu contains, 
though abundant, are not to the point, inasmuch as they are apparently 
altered from the older 'ku' and 'kku,' by the ordinary softening 
process by which 'k' changes into 's,' and 'kk' into 'ch.' A Tamil 
example of this formative is seen in ' adei-iu,' to take refuge, of which 
the transitive is ' adei-chu,' to enclose, to twine round. 

(3.) 'du' or ' ndu,' with its transitive form 'ttu.' — There appears to 
be no difierence whatever between this formative and the other three, 
' gu,' 'su,' or 'bu,' in meaning or grammatical relation; and as 'gu' is 
euphonized in the intransitive to ' ngu,' so is 'du,' to 'ndu;' whilst in 
the transitive the doubled ' d ' (and its equivalent ' nd ') changes by 
rule into ' tt.' The euphonic change of 'du' to ' ndu,' has so generally 
taken place, that ' ndu' is invariably used instead of 'du' in the for- 
matives of verbs; and it is only in the formatives of nouns that 'du,' 
the more primitive, form, is sometimes found to have survived. 

The formative 'gu' remains unaltered in the adjectival form of 
nouns; but 'du' changes into 'ttu,' when used adjectivally, in the 
same manner as in the transitive voice of verbs. Tamil examples of 
this formative; — ' tiru-ndu,' to become correct, ' tiru-ttu,' to correct; 
' maru-ndu,' medicine, adjectival form of the same, ' maru-ttu,' e.g., 
' maruttu-(p)pei,' a medicine lag. The primitive unnasalised 'du' and 


its adjectival 'ttu,' are found in such words as ' eru-du,' a hull, an ox, 
and ' eru-ttn-(p)puttu,' the fastening of an ox's traces. Nearly all the 
verbs which take 'da,' or 'ndu,' as a formative are trisyllabic. Of the 
few dissyllabic verbs of this class in Tamil, the most interesting is 
' nindu,' to swim, of which I consider 'ni' as the crude form. ' Nindu/ 
is evidently an euphonized form of 'nidu,' ('du' changed into 'ndu'); 
for the verbal noun derived from it, ' nittal,' swimming, is without the 
nasal, and the Telugu uses ' nidu,' for the verb itself, instead of 
'nindu.' I have little doubt that the 'du,' or 'ndu' of this word, is 
simply a formative, and that the crude primitive base is ' nl,' answer- 
ing to the Greek ve-to, the Latin ' no,' ' nato ' and also to ' nau,' Sans. 
a boat, of which the Sanscrit does not contain the root. 

Derivative nouns formed from verbs which have formative suffixes 
always prefer as their formative the transitive suffix, or that which 
doubles and hardens the initial consonant. Thus from ' tiru-ndu,' to 
heoom,e correct, is formed ' tiru-ttam,' correction; and from ' tu-ngu,' to 
sleep, ' tu-kkam,' sleep. 

In some instances the crude root of a verb is used as the intransi- 
tive, whilst the transitive is formed by the addition of 'ttu' to the 
root. E.g. 'padu,' to lie down, 'padu-ttu,' to lay; 'tar,' to he low, 
' tar-ttu,' to lower; 'nil' (Telugu 'nilu'), to stand, 'nirn-ttu' (for 
'nilu-ttu'), to establish. In such cases the Canarese uses 'du' instead 
of the Tamil 'ttu,' e.g., ' tai-du/ to foj^er, instead of 'tar-ttu.' This 
transitive formative is sometimes represented as a causal; but it wiU 
be shown in the section on ' The Verb,' that ' vi ' (enphonically ' bi,' 
or 'ppi') is the only real causal in the Drfi, vidian languages. In all 
the cases now mentioned, where ' ttu' is used as the formative of the 
transitive by the Tamil, the Telugu uses ' chu' or 'pu.' 

I class under the head of this formative all those nouns in which 
the ' cerebral' consonants ' d,' ' nd,' and ' tt,' are used in the same 
manner and for the same purpose as the dentals 'd,' ' nd,' and 'tt;' 
e.g. ' kuru-du,' blindness, adjectival form of the same, ' kuru-ttu,' blind; 
' ira-ndu,' two, adjectival form, ' ira-ttu,' double. The Telugu hardens 
but does not double the final ' d' of such nouns; e.g., '6d-u,' a leak, 
' oti,' leaky. 

In some instances in Tamil, the hard rough ' r,' when used as a 
final, seems to be equivalent to ' du,' or ' du,' and is doubled and pro^ 
nounced with a 't;' e.g., ' kina-Bu,' a well, ' kina-RRu' (pronounced 
' kinattru'), of a well. On this point, however, see Section on Nouns. — 
Increment ' ti,' or ' attu.' i 

(4.) 'bu' or 'mbu,' with its transitive 'ppu.' — In Canarese, 'bu,' the 
original form of this intransitive suffix, has been softened into 'vu,' and 

156 KQOT^. 

in Tamil 'bn,' has universally been enphonrzed into 'mbu.' This 
Tamilian formative 'mbu,' is in some instances softened iii Telugu 
nouns into 'mu.' The 'bu' or 'mbu' of Tamil verbs is superseded by 
' vu' or 'gu' in Telugu; and the forms answering to the Tamil tran- 
sitive ' ppu' are ' pu' and ' mpu,' rarely ' ppu.' 

Example of the use of this formative by a verb: — ' nira-mbu,' Tarn. 
to he full, 'nira-ppuj' to fill; of which the crude base 'nir,' re-appears 
in the related verb ' niR-ei,' to he full, or to fill. The Telugu has 
'nindu' instead of 'nirambu;' but the transitive 'nimpn,' answers very 
nearly to the Tamil 'nirappu.' Example of a noun in 'mbu' and 
'ppu;' — 'iru-mbu,' Tam., iron, adjectival form, ' iru-ppu,' of iron, e.g., 
' iruppu-(k)k61,' an iron rod. In Telugu 'irumbu' is softened into 
' inumu,' adjectival form ' inupa.' The Canarese still adheres to the 
original form of this suffix, generally softening 'b' into 'v,' but leaving 
it always unnasalised ; e.g., Canarese ' havu,' a snake, properly ' pavu :' 
Tamil ' pambu,' nasalised from 'pabu;' adjectival form 'pappu,' e.g., 
' pappu-(k)kodi,' the serpent hanner: Telugu, still further altered, 
'pamu.' This example clearly illustrates the progress of the formative 
in question, and confirms the supposition, that it was merely^ euphonic 
in its origiil, and that it was by degrees that it acquired the character 
of a formative. 

It has been mentioned that the Telugu uses 'pu' or 'mpu' as a 
formative of transitive verbs, where the Tamil uses ' ppu.' It should 
be added that even in those cases where the Tamil uses the other 
formatives previously noticed, viz., 'kku' and 'ttu,' the Telugu often 
prefers 'pu.' Compare the following infinitives in Tamil and in 
Telugu, e.g. 'meykka,' Tam. to feed cattle, 'mepa,' Tel.; 'nirutta,' Tam. 
to establish, ' nilupa,' Tel. Where 'kku' in Tamil, and 'pu' in Telugu 
are preceded by ' i,' this formative becomes in Telugu either ' mpu' or 
' nchu ;' e.g., compare ' oppuvi-kka,' Tamil, to deliver over, with the 
corresponding Tel. infinitive, ' appavi-mpa,' or ' appavi-ncha.' 

It appears from the various particulars now mentioned, that tran- 
sitive verbs, and nouns used adjectivally, must have been regarded by 
the primitive Tamilians as possessing some quality in common. The 
common feature possessed by each, is doubtless the quality of transition; 
for it is evident that when nouns are used adjectivally there is a tran- 
sition of the quality or act denoted by the adjectival noun to the noun 
substantive to which it is prefixed, which corresponds to the transition 
of the action denoted by the transitive verb to the accusative which it 

It is manifest that the various particles which are used as forma- 
tives do not essentially diflfer from one another either in signification, 


in the purpose for which they are used, in the manner in which they 
are ai&xed, or in the manner in which they are doubled and hardened. 
It was euphony only that determined which of the sonants ' g,' ' s,' 
' d,' ' d/ or ' b,' should be suffixed as a formative to any particular verb 
or noun. 

Possibly, indeed, the use of these formatives originated altogether 
in considerations of euphony. The only point in which a grammatical 
principle appears to exist, is the doubling of the initial consonant of 
the formative to denote or correspond with the putting forth of energy 
which is inherent in the idea of active or transitive verbs, as distin- 
guished from intransitives. 

From the statements and examples given above, it may be concluded 
that wherever DrS-vidian verbs or nouns are found to terminate in any 
of the syllables referred to there is reason to suspect, that the first 
part of the word alone constitutes or contains the root. The final 
syllables 'gu,' 'ngu,' 'kku;' 'su,' 'chu;' 'dii,' 'ndu,' 'ttu;'''du,' 'ndu/ 
'ttu;' 'bu,''mbu,' ' mpu,' 'pu,''ppu;' 'mu,''vu;' may, as a general 
rule, be rejected as formative additions. 

This rule will be found on examination to throw unexpected light 
on the derivation and relationship of many nouns which are commonly- 
supposed to be primitive and independent, but which, when the syllables 
referred to above are rejected, are found to be derived from or allied, to 
verbal roots which are still in use. I adduce, as examples, the following 
Tamil words: — 'kombu,' a branch, a twig; 'vembu,' the Margosa tree ; 
' vambu,' abuse ; ' pambu,' a snahe. As soon as the formative final, 
' mbu,' is rejected, the verbsjfrom which these nouns are derived are 
brought to light. Thus, 'ko-mbu,' a twig, is plainly derived from 
' ko-y,' to pluck of, to cut ; 've-mbu,' the Margosa tree, is from ' ve-y,' 
to he umbrageous, to screen or shade (the shade of this tree being pecu- 
liarly prized) ; ' va-mbu,' abuse, is from ' vei,' properly ' va-y ' (cor- 
responding to the Canarese ' vayyu '), to revile ; ' pa-mbu,' a snake, is 
from ' pa-y,' to spring. In these instances, the verbal base which is 
now in use ends in ' y,' a merely euphonic addition, which does not 
belong to the root, and which disappears in the derivatives before the 
consonants which are added as formatives. 

The same principle applied to nouns ending in the other formative 
syllables will be found to yield similar results ; e.g., 'par-andu,' a hawk, 
from 'para,' to fly; and ' kirangn,' a root, from 'kir,' to he beneath, the 
'i' of which, though long in Tamil, is short in the Telugu 'kinda,' below. 

Reduplication of the Final CoNSOffANi of the Root. — The 
principle of employing reduplication as a means of producing gramma- 

158 BOOTS 

tical expression is recognized by the Drividian languages, as well as 
by those of the Indo-European family ; though the mode in which the 
reduplication is effected and the objects in view are different. It is in 
Tamil that this reduplication is most distinctly apparent, and it should 
here be borne in mind, that when a Tamil consonant is doubled, it is 
changed from a sonant into a surd. The final consonant of a Tamil 
root is doubled — (1) for the purpose of changing a noun into an 
adjective, showing that it qualifies another noun, or putting it in the 
genitive case, e.g., from ' mMu,' an ox, is formed ' matt-u (t)t61,' ox- 
hide ; (2) for the purpose of converting an intransitive or neuter verb 
into a transitive,. e.^., from '6d-u,' to run, is formed ' ottu,' to drive; 
(3) for the purpose of ' forming the preterite,' e.c/., ' tag-u,' to be Jit, 
' tak^-a.^ that was fit ; and (4) for the purpose of forming derivative 
nouns from verbal themes, e.g., from 'erud-u,' to write, is formed 
' erutt-u,' a letter. [See this subject further elucidated in the sections on 
' The Noun ' and ' The Verb.'] It is remarkable, that whilst the Indo- 
European tongues mark the perfect tense by the reduplication of the 
first syllable, it is by the reduplication of the last letter that the 
Dravidian languages effect this purpose; and also, that whilst the 
'fibetan converts a noun into a verh by doubling the last consonant, 
this should be a Dr&vidian method of converting a verb into a noun. 
The rationale of the Dravidian reduplication is, that it was felt to be a 
natural way to express the idea of transition both in the act and in 
the result. 

Up to this point it has been found that all Dravidian polysyllabic 
roots are traceable to a monosyllabif base, lengthened either by 
euphonic additions and insertions, or by the addition of formative par- 
ticles. An important class of dissyllabic bases remains, of which the 
second syllable is neither an euphonic nor a formative addition, but an 
inseparable particle of specialisation, into the nature and use of which 
we shall now inquire. 

Particles of Specialisation. — The verbs and nouns belonging 
to the class of bases which are now under consideration, consist of a 
monosyllabic root or stem, containing the generic signification, and a 
second syllable, perhaps the fragment of a lost root or lost post-posi- 
tion, by which the generic meaning of the stem is in some manner 
modified. The second syllable appears sometimes to expand and some- 
times to restrict the signification, but in some instances, through the 
absence of synonyms, its force cannot now be ascertained. As this 
syllable is intended in some manner to specialise the meaning of the 
root, I call it 'the particle of specialisation.' 


The principle which is involved in the use of this particle, and the 
manner in which it is carried into effect, remarkably correspond to a 
characteristic feature or law of the Semitic languages, which it appears 
to be desirable to notice here somewhat particularly. As far back as 
the separate existence of the Semitic family of languages can be traced, 
every root is found to consist of two syllables, comprising generally 
three consonants. When Semitic bi-literal roots are compared with 
their synonyms, or corresponding roots, in the Indo-European lan- 
guages, and especially with those which are found in Sanscrit, a 
simpler and more primitive root-system has been brought to light. It 
has been ascertained, in a large number of instances, that whilst the 
first syllable of the Hebrew root corresponds with the Sanscrit, the 
second syllable does not in any manner correspond to any Indo-Euro- 
pean synonym. It is found also, that the second syllable has not any 
essential connection with the first, and that a considerable number of 
families of roots exist in which the first syllable is the same in each 
case, whilst the second continually varies. It is therefore inferred 
that in such cases the first syllable alone (comprising two consonants, 
the initial and the final, together with the vowel used for enunciation) 
contains the radical base and generic signification, and that the second 
syllable, perhaps the fragment of an obsolete word, has been appended 
to the first and afterwards compounded with it, for the purpose of 
giving the generic signification a specific and definite direction. 
According to this view, which appears to be in the main correct, 
Hebrew roots are to be regarded not singly and separately, as inde- 
pendent monads, hut as arranged generically in clusters or groups, 
exhibiting general resemblances and special differences. The family 
likeness resides in the first syllable, the radical base ; the individuality 
or special peculiarity in the second, ' the particle of specialisation.' 

It is true that in some instances the second syllable of Semitic 
roots meets with its counterpart in the Indo-European languages, as 
well as the first, or even instead of the first ; but the peculiar rule or 
law now referred to is found to pervade so large a portion of the 
Hebrew roots, that it justly claims to be considered as a characteristic 
of the language. 

Thus, there is a family of Hebrew roots signifying generally ' to 
divide,' 'to cleave,' 'to separate,' &c. The members of this family are 
'palah,' 'palah,' 'palag,' 'pala,' 'palal;' and also (through the dialectic 
interchange of '1' with 'r'), 'parash,' 'paras;' Chaldee 'peras.' It cannot 
be doubted that in all these instances the first syllable 'pal' or 'par,' or 
rather ' p-r,' 'p-1 ' (for the vowel belongs not to the root, but to the 
grammatical relation), expresses merely the general idea of ' division ;' 

160 ROOTS. 

■whilst the second syllable (which is in some instances a reduplication of 
the final consonant of the bi-literal) expresses, or is supposed to express, 
the particular mode in which the ' division ' or ' partition ' is effected. 
The first syllable, which is the same in all the members of this group 
of roots, is that which is to be compared with synonyms in other lan- 
guages, whilst the second syllable is merely modal. In this instance 
we not only observe a distinct analogy between the Hebrew roots, *p-r,' 
' p-1,' and the Greet ' irop-w' the Latin ' par-s,' ' par-tis,' and the 
Sanscrit ' phal,' to divide, but we also discover the existence of a dis- 
tinct and remarkable analogy with the Dravidian languages. Compare 
with the Hebrew 'p-r,' 'p-1,' the Tamil 'piri,' to divide, and 'pal,' a 
part ; ' pila ' and ' por,' to cleave ; as also ' pagir ' and ' pagu,' to 
portion out, to divide. See also the ' Glossarial Affinities.' 

On turning our attention to the root-system of the Dravidian lan- 
guages, we are struck with the resemblance which it bears to the 
Semitic root-system referred to above. We find in these languages 
groups of related roots, the first syllables of which are nearly or 
wholly identical, whilst their second syllables are different in each 
instance, and in consequence of this difference produce the required 
degree of diversity in the signification of each member of the group. 
We also find in these languages, as in Hebrew, that the generic particle 
or common base, and the added particle of specialisation, are so 
conjoined as to become one indivisible etymon. The specialising par- 
ticle, which was probably a separable suffix or post-position at first, 
has become by degrees a component part of the word, — and this word, 
so compounded, constitutes the base to which all formatives and all 
inflexional particles are appended. 

This root-system exists in all the languages of the Dravidian 
family, but its nature and peculiarities are especially apparent in the 
Tamil. Out of many such groups of related Tamil roots, I select as 
illustrations two groups which commence with the first letter of the 

] . Roots which radiate from the syllable ' ad :' 

adu to come near ; also ' adu,' transitive, to unite, 

ada to join, to join battle. 

ada^ngu \ to be contained, to enclose ; verbs formed from ' ada,' the preceding 

ada-kku J verb, by the addition of the formatives 'ngu' and 'kku.' 

adel to attain, to get in, to roost : transitive, to enclose, 

adeis'u to take refuge, from 'adei,' with the addition of the formative 's'u;' 

also 'adeigu.' 
adar to be close together, to be crowded. 

aduk-(ku) to place one thing upon another, to pile up. This verb ia properly 


'aduk/ but final 'k' in Tamil is always vocalised by the help 
of 'u,' and often doubled, as in this instance, before receiving the 
andu (Telugu antu), to approach. This verb seems to be identical with 'adu,' 
the first in the list, and euphonized from it by the insertion of the 

It is obvious that all these roots are pervaded by a family resem- 
blance, 411 contain the geaetjp fl^ion of 'nearness,' expressed by the 
first or base syllable ' ad ;' wMl^t each, by means of the second 
syllable, or partible of specialisation, denotes some particular species 
of nearness. 

2. Roots which radiate from the base syllable ' an :' — 

auu to touch. 

ani to put on, to adorn. 

auel to connect, to embrace ; as a noun, a weir, a dam. 

auavu to cleave to. ('vu' is probably an euphonic addition.) 

annn , to lean upon. (Enoni this verb is derived ' annal ' or ' annan ' an 

elder brother, one to lean upon, a derivation as poetical as it is 


The gen€ric idea signified by the base syllable ' an ' is evidently 
that of 'contact;' and this group difi'ers from the previous one as actual 
'contact' differs from 'contiguity' or 'nearness.' Probably 'ani,' 
a ndU, a fastenmff, is derived from the same verb, and it appears pro- 
bable also that this is the origin of the Sanscrit 'ani' or 'ani,' the pin 
of an axle. At all events it seems a more natural derivation than that 
which is given by the Sanscrit grammarians, viz., from ' ana,' to 

The illustrations given above prove, that the second syllables of the 
various verbs now adduced have not been added merely for purposes 
of euphony, but have been appended in order to expand, tp restrict, or 
in some manner to modify and specialise the signification. It was 
shown in a previous part of this section, that the vowels ' a,' ' i,' ' u,' 
' e,' and ' ei ' are sometimes added euphonically to monosyllabic roots. 
It is obvious, however, that this is not the only purpose for which 
those vowel additions are used; and it is of importance to know that 
when they are merely euphonic they are found to be interchange- 
able with other vowels, whereas when they are used as particles 
of specialisation they retain their individual character more firmly. 

The examples already given may siiffice to illustrate the use of 
appended tiowels as specialising particles. Syllables ending in con- 
sonants, especially in '1' and 'r,' are also used very frequently for 

162 ROOTS. 

this purpose ; and it seems desirable here to adduce examples of the 
use of particles of this class. The following examples are mostly 
from the Tamil, in which '1' and 'r' may stand as finals. The other 
dialects add 'u ' to the final consonant of each of these particles. The 
Tamil requires this euphonic addition of ' u * when a word ends in the 
hard, rough ' b,' or in any consonant besides the nasals and semi- 

Bach root being considered either as a verb or as a noun according 
to circumstances, I give examples of nouns as well as of verbs. Some 
of the following roots, though used as verbs, are more commonly used 
as nouns, and some, though used as nouns, are more commonly use4 ae 
verbs. Some of the examples, again, are used either as nouns only or 
as verbs only : — 


valar, to grow 

suvar, a wall 


tulir, to sprout 

ugir, a finger nail 


nudur-u, Tel., the forehead 


pugar, to •praise 

idar, a fiewer leaf 


jnagir, to rejoice 

tamir, sweetness, Tamil. 


idaE-u, to trip 

klnaB-u, a well 


muyiE-Tj, the red ant 


sural, to whirl 

Iral, the liver 


kuyilj to utter a sound 

tigil, a fright 


pagul-u, Tel, to break 


tuval, to lend 

tinggal, (he moon 


madil, a fort wall 


urul, to roll 

irul, darkness 

uk-(ku) kadlik-(ku), to suffer pain koduk-(ku)i a sting 

Of all the fourteen specialising particles ending in consonants, of 
which examples have now been adduced, only one appears occasionally 
to be used as an equivalent for a vowel addition. ' ar ' alternates with 
' ei ;' e.g., ' amar,' Tam., to rest, and 'amei,' are apparently equivalent. 
The verb to grow, also, is in Tamil ' valar,' and in Canarese ' bale,' 
which in Tamil would be ' valei,' Similar instances, however, abound 
in Hebrew, without invali<Jating the gener3(l principle j and even with 
respect to the latter of the two Dratidian illustrations, there is a 
marked distinction in Tamil between ' valar,' and a related theme, 
' vilei,' ' vajar ' meaning to grow ' upwards, as a man, or a tree,' 
whilst ' vilei,' means to grow ' as a crop ;' hence as a noun ' vilei ' 
means afield. 

I here subjoin an example of another peculiar and interesting set 
of groups of roots which are found in the Dravidian languages, and 


which are formed upon a plan differing considerably from that which 
has now been explained. 

The roots referred to are dissyllabic,, but they contain only one con- 
sonant, which is preceded and followed by a vowel. This consonant 
appears to represent the ultimate or radical base, whilst the initial and 
final vowels alter in accordance with the particular shade of significa- 
tion which it is desired to convey. When we compare 'idu,' Tarn., 
to press or crush, 'odu,' to squeeze, to bring into a smaller compass, and 
'idi,' to bruise, to beat down, as also ' adi/ to heat; or 'odi,' to break 
in two, and ' udei ' (pronounced ' odei '), to break open ; we cannot 
avoid the conclusion that the first four roots are closely' related 
members of the same family or group ; that the last two roots are in 
like manner mutually related ; and that possibly the whole of them 
have an ulterior relationship, in virtue of their possessing in common 
the same nucleus or radical base, the central consonant 'd,' and the 
same generic signification. 

Dravidian Roots sustain no Internal Change on receiving 
Formative or Inflexional Additions, or in Composition.- — In 
general this rule is so strictly adhered to, and the deviations from it 
are so few and unimportant, that it may be regarded as a, characteristic 
of the Dravidian root-system, and a counterpart of the rigid unchange- 
ableness which characterizes Scythian roots. 

The vowels of Dravidian roots belong as essentially to the radical 
base as the consonants. They neither belong, as in the Semitic lan- 
guages, to the system of means by which grammatical relations are 
expressed, nor are they modified, as in the Indo-European languages, 
by the addition of inflexional forms. 

In the Semitic languages the radical base is destitute of vowels, and 
by itself unpronounceable. The insertion of vowels not only vocalises 
the consonants of the root, but constitutes it a grammatically inflected 
verb or noun, the signification' of which varies with the variation of 
the interior vowels. 

In the Indo-European languages grammatical modifications are 
produced by additions to the root ; and though in the earliest period of 
the history of those languages, the root, generally monosyllabic, is sup- 
posed to have remained unaltered by additions and combinations, yet 
the existence of that rigidity is not capable of direct proof ; for on 
examining the Sanscrit, Greek, Latin, and German, the most faithful 
representatives of the early condition of those languages, we find that 
the root vowels of a large proportion of the words are modified by the 
addition of the sufiixes of case and tense ; and in particular, that the 

M 2 

164 ROOTS. 

reduplication of the root, by which the perfect appears usually to have 
been formed, is often found either to alter the quantity of the root- 
vowel, to change one vowel into another, or entirely to expunge it. 

In the Scythian family of tonguee, not only does the vowel belong 
essentially to the root, but it remains unalterable under all circum- 
stances. Neither the vowel nor the consonant (or consonants) of 
which the root is composed, sustains any change or modification on the 
addition of the signs of gender, number, and case, or of person, tense, 
and mood; which are successively agglutinated to the root, not welded 
into combination with it. 

This rigidity or persistency is characteristic also of the roots of the 
Dravidian languages, vith a few exceptions which will shortly be men- 
tioned. In general, whatever be the length or weight of the additions 
made to a Dravidian root, and whether it stands alone or is combined 
with other words in a construct state, it is represented as fully and 
faithfully in the oblique cases as in the nominative, in the preterite 
and future as in the present tense or in the imperative. 

I proceed to point out the principal exceptions to this rule. 

1. Euphonic Exceptions. 

(1.) Some exceptions are purely enunciative, and consist only in 
such chafhges as are necessary to enable Dravidian organs to enunciate 
double consonants. See the portions of this section in which the 
lengthening of roots by the euphonic insertion or addition of vowels 
is explained. 

(2.) A second class of euphonic exceptions is connfected with one 
of the ' minor dialectic peculiarities ' noticed at the end of the section 
on Sounds. It consists in the occasional omission or mutation of the 
final consonant of a root when it is followed by a formative or in- 
flexional particle. Most of the instances which I have noticed, occur 
in Canarese or Telugu, especially in the latter. They are such as the 
following, viz., ' eddu,' Tel,, an ox, instead of ' erdu ' (in Tamil 
' erudu ') ; ' penchu,' Tel., to increase, instead of ' perunchu ' (in Tamil 
'perukku'); 'biddu,' Canarese, having fallen, for 'bildu' (Tamil ' virdu'); 
and 'tiddu,' Caxi., to correct, for 'tirudu' (in Tamil 'tiruttu'). This 
omission, or softening, has no relation to grammatical expression, and 
appears to have arisen chiefly from haste in pronunciation. A few 
examples of this change are found even in Tamil j e.g. ' vandu,' having 
come, instead of ' varndu ' or ' varundu.' In this case the omitted ' r' 
has not a place in the imperative of the second person singular, which 
is ' va,' come, not 'var;' and hence it might be doubted whether the 
' r ' really belongs to the root, or whether it is only an euphonic 


addition. I suspect, however, that this ' r ' is radical, for the Telugu 
imperative singular is ' ik,' not ' v^,' as if from ' vara ;' and we find 
in the Bajmahal dialect that to come is 'bara.' In Tamil also the 
imperative of the second person plural is ' var-um.' Hence ' vandu,' 
having come, seems really to be a softened form of ' varndu.' Another 
example appears to be furnished by a Tamil verb meaning to give, 
which is ' tar,' in the infinitive, the present, and the future ; ' ta,' in 
the imperative singular; and 'ta' in the preterite, e.^r. 'tanden'(for 
' tarnden'), I gave. The resemblance or identity of the Tamil 'ta' 
and the Sanscrit ' da,' to give, might lead us to suppose ' ta ' to be a 
Sanscrit derivative, in which case the ' r ' referred to would be an 
euphonic addition. It is difficult, however, to suppose that this 'r' 
has been added euphonically, and the difiiculty is increased by the 
circumstance that in every part of this verb, with the exception of 
the imperative, the form of the root which we find to be used, is not 
'ta' but 'tar-u.' Hence it seems open to conjecture that ' tar-u ' is 
not derived from the present shape of the Sanscrit, though related to 
it, but that it springs from an older source, of which a trace remainsi 
in the Greek ' B&p-ov,' and possibly also in the Hebrew base, ' tan.' 

(3.) A third class of euphonic exceptions to this rule is connected 
vf'ith another of the ' minor dialectic peculiarities ' referred to. It 
consists in the occasional softening or rejection of the medial con- 
sonant of a dissyllabic root or verbal noun, together with the 
coalescence of the vowels that preceded and followed it. It has been 
shown that ' g ' has a tendency to \>e softened into ' v ' and then to 
disappear, and that 's' changes in the same manner into 'y,' when it 
sometimes become absorbed. When either of these consonants is a 
medial, it is apt to be thus softened down and rejected. Thus, 
' dogal-u,' Canarese, skin, becomes in Tamil ' tol ;' ' pesar,' Canarese, a 
name, becomes in Tamil first ' peyar ' and then ' per.' So in Tamil, 
' togup-pu,' a collection, is softened into ' top-pu,' which has the 
restricted meaning of a collection of trees, a tope. 

(4.) The most important class of euphonic exceptions to the 
general rule of the unchangeableness of the root appears at first sight 
to correspond to a characteristic usage of the Indo-European languages, 
and especially of the Sanscrit. In those languages the quantity of the 
root vowel is sometimes altered when the crude or abstract noun is 
changed into an adjective. Thus in Sanscrit ' Dravida,' a gentile 
appellation, becomes ' Dravida,' pertaining to the Dravidas, the ' a ' 
changing into 'a;' and if the vowel is naturally long, as the 'e' in 
' Veda,' it becomes a diphthong when the word is changed to an adjec- 
tive; e.g., ' Vaidika,' pertaining to the Vidas. In Tamil we discover a 

166 ROOTS. 

class of changes which, though in reality they are purely euphonic 
and unconnected with grammatical relations, appear at first sight to 
resemble the above-mentioned Indo-European usage. Dravidian roots, 
though originally monosyllabic, have very generally taken a dis- 
syllabic form by the insertion or addition of a vowel which is intended 
to facilitate enunciation. In such cases the first syllable, always a 
short one, represents the crude root, the added vowel constitutes the 
euphonic suffix; e.g., 'per-u,' great; ' kar-u,' hlach; 'ar-u,' predous. 
In Tamil, especially in the old poetical dialect and in the speech of 
the peasantry, such dissyllabic adjectives, or nouns of quality, are often 
found to sustain a further change. The final euphonic vowel is 
rejected, and to compensate for its loss, the interior vowel of the root 
is lengthened. Thus 'per-u' becomes 'per;' 'kar-u,' 'kar;' and 
' ar-u,' ' ar.' In the same manner ' or-u,' one, becomes ' or ;' and ' ir-u,' 
two, 'ir.' This lengthened monosyllabic form is considered to be 
peculiarly elegant, and is much used in combinations. It is also used 
more frequently than the dissyllabic form as a concrete noun of 
quality. Thus ' kar,' black, is much used by itself to denote ' the 
rainy season,' or ' Coromandel monsoon,' or ' the rice grown at that 
season.' This euphonic lengthening of the root vowel and rejection 
of the final will be found to throw light in the derivation of some 
nouns of quality ; e.g., ' par,' desolate, a wilderness, is evidently derived 
from ' para,' old. 

When the final consonant of the crude root belongs to the class 
of hard letters ('k,' ' i,' ' t,' 't,' 'p,' 'b.') it cannot be enunciated by 
Tamilians without the help of an appended vowel; and in such 
cases, though the interior vowel of the root is lengthened, the final 
' u ' remains : e.g., ' pas-u,' green, becomes in poetical and vulgar 
usage, not ' pas,' but ' pas-u.' This final ' u,' however, being retained 
solely for the sake of enunciation, is considered like the Hebrew 
' sh'va,' as only half the length of an ordinary short vowel. 

At first sight the change in the interior vowels of Dravidian 
roots now pointed out may appear to resemble the usage of the 
Sanscrit; but on further examination the resemblance is found to dis- 
appear. It is evident that the Dravidian increase of quantity is 
wholly euphonic, and not, like that of the Sanscrit, a means of pro- 
ducing grammatical modification : for though that form of the Dravi- 
dian noun of quality, or adjective, in which the root vowel is 
lengthened, is more frequently employed as a concrete noun than the 
older dissyllabic form, yet the dissyllabic form is also used as a concrete, 
and both forms are used indiscriminately as adjectives ; from which it 
is obvious that the difference between them pertains, not to gram- 


matical relation, but only to considerations of euphony. Thus, 
though ' ar,' precious, is more often used than ' ar-u/ to signify pre- 
ciousness, or that wkkh is precious, yet 'ar-u' also is used by the 
poets in the same sense j and either 'ar-u' or 'ar' may optionally be 
used in composition as an adjective. 

2. Heal Exceptions. 

It has been stated as a general rule that the internal rowels of 
Dravidiaa roots sustain no internal change on receiving formative or 
inflexional additions or in composition; it has also been stated that 
deviations from this rule exist, bat that they are few and unim- 
portant. The apparent exceptions mentioned above have been shown 
to be merely euphonic. I proceed to notice the few real exceptions 
which are observed. 

(1.) In most of the Dravidian lailguages the quantity of the root- 
vowels of the pronouns of the first and second persons, both singular 
and plural, is shortened in the oblique cases. The nominatives 
of those pronouns are long; e.g., 'nan,' Tamil, I, 'nam,' we; 'ni,' 
thou, ' nir,' t/ou. But in Tamil, Canarese, Malayalam, and Tulu, in 
all the oblique cases the vowels are shortened before receiving the 
suffixed inflexional particles. Thus, in Canarese, to me is not ' uka- 
a-ge,' but 'nan-a-ge;' to thee is not ' nin-a-ge,' but 'nin-a-ge.' The 
Telugu, Gond, and Ku generally retain the quantity of the root- 
vowel unaltered : e.g., in Telugu we find ' nl-ku,' to thee, as well as 
' ni,' thou; but in the accusative, ' nin-u,' thee, the quantity is altered 
in the same manner. The only other instance of a similar shorten- 
ing of the root-vowel of a Dravidian word is that which is supplied 
by the numerals. The radical portion of the Tamil numeral 'mundru,' 
three, is 'mu;' but this becomes 'mu,' when used as an adjectival 
prefix, as in ' muppattu/ thirty, and ' munnuBU,' three hvmd/fed. In 
like manper when ' aR-u,' six, is used adjectivally, it is shortened 
to 'aR-u;' and 'er-u,' seven, to 'eru;' e.g., ' aRubadu,' sixty, 'eru- 
badu,' seventy. The oblique case of a noun or pronoun is identical 
with that form which the same noun or pronoun takes when it is 
used adjectivally; and hence both these classes of instances fall under 
the same rule. 

The shortening of the root-vowel takes place in the personal pro- 
nouns and numerals alone. All other pronominals and nouns sub- 
stantive adhere to the general rule of the Dravidian languages of 
preserving the root-vowels unaltered. 

Singularly enough, this exception from the general rigidity of the 
root- vowels is a Scythian exception, as well as a Dravidian one. In the 

168 ROOTS. 

Scythian version of the Behistun tablets, whilst the nominative of the 
pronoun of the second person is ' ui,' thou, as in the Dravidian lan- 
guages, the possessive case is ' m,' thy, and the accusative ' nin,' thee, 
corresponding in quantity to the Dravidian oblique cases ; e.g., Telugu 
and Tulu, ' nin-u,' thee, High Tamil ' nifn,' thi/, and ' ninnei,' thee. 

(2.) Another class of exceptions appears in those few instances in 
which the Tamil shortens the quantity of the long vowel of the root 
in the preterite. This shortening is occasionally observed in ,the 
Canarese, but the best illustrations are those which are furnished by 
the Tamil: e.g., 'vegu,' properly 've,' to burn, has for its preterite par- 
ticiple, not 'vegundn' or 'vendu,' but 'vendu/ 'nogu,' to he in pain, 
properly 'no,' has in the preterite, not 'n6gundu' or 'n6ndu,' but 
'nondu ;' and 'kan,' to see, not 'kandn,' but 'kandu.' 

The two classes of exceptions mentioned above evidently accord, 
as far as they go, with a prevalent usage of the Indo-European lan- 
guages, inasmuch as they are examples of the shortening of the interior 
vowels of the root on receiving the addition of the inflexional particles, 
to make compensation for the additional weight which is thus 
imposed on the root-vowel. 

(3.) A third class consists of instances in which the quantity of a 
vowel is lengthened when a verbal root is formed, directly and without 
any extraneous addition, into a noun. The alteration which the root 
vowel sustains is prior to any inflexional additions being made. If 
any formative particle is added to a verbal root to convert it into a 
noun, the quantity of the root-vowel remains unchanged. The 
lengthening of the root-vowel to which I refer takes place only in 
(some of) those cases in which the verbal base itself is used as a noun. 
Thus, the verb 'ked-u,' to destroy or to become destroyed, may become a 
verbal noun by the addition of the formative 'di,' e.g., 'kedndi, 
destruction, in which event the root-vowel remains unaltered ; but the 
verbal base may also be used without addition as a verbal noun, iu 
which case 'ked-u ' is lengthened into ' kid-u.' 

The following Tamil examples of the lengthening of each of the 
five primary vowels will suffice to illustrate this usage : 

From ' pad-u,' to sufer, is formed ' pad-u,' a suffering; from 'min,' 
to shine, 'min,' a star; from 'lud-u,' to burn, 'sud-n,' heat; from 
'peR-u,' to obtain, 'piR-n,' a benefit obtained; and from 'kol,' to 
receive, ' k61,' reception. 

I am not aware of the existence of a similar rule in any of the 
Scythian languages, but it is well known to the Sanscrit {e.g., comp. 
' vach,' to ^eak, with ' v&oh,' a word; ' mar ' ('mri'), to die, with 'mara,' 
death). Nevertheless, I can scarcely think it likely that it is from the 


Sanscrit that the Dravidian languages have derived a usage which 
prevails among them to so great an extent, and which has every 
appearance of being an original feature of their own. It may here be 
added, that in two instances in Tamil the root vowel has been 
lengthened in the imperative of verbs : e.g., ' tara,' to give, is in the 
imperative plural 'tar-um,' givf ye; and 'vara,' to come, ' var-um,' 
come ye. I consider this change as euphonic, not pertaining to the 
grammatical expression, for in the parallel forms in Telugu the vowel 
is short, e.g., ' ra-(m)mu,' come ye. 

In concluding this section it seems desirable to notice an apparent 
change of interior vowels occurring in Tamil, which has been supposed 
to accord with the Sanscrit change of a short vowel into a long one, 
and of a naturally long vowel into a diphthong, on a noun being changed 
into an adjective. It consists in the change of ' pasum,' green, in cer- 
tain conjunctions, into ' peim ;' e.g., ' peim-pon,' excellent (literally 
green) gold. It is certain, however, that this is merely an euphonic 
change, in no way affecting grammatical relations, 'pasum,' green, is 
not derived, as Beschi supposes, from 'pasumei,' greenness, by the 
omission of the final 'ei;' for 'mei,' not ' ei,' is the particle by which 
abstracts are formed, and the 'm' is the most essential part of that 
particle. It is derived from ' pas,' green, the crude adjective or noun 
of quality, with the addition of ' um,' the sign of the aorist, commonly 
called ' the future,' by which it is made an aoristic relative participle, 
a class of participles which all Scythian tongues delight to use as adjec- 
tives. It has already been shown that 's,' when medial, has a 
tendency to be softened into ' y,' and then to disappear altogether; and 
in consequence of this tendency, 'pasum' naturally became 'payum,' 
and this again, by an easy change, and one which in pronunciation i^ 
almost imperceptible, ' peim.' We have a parallel instance of this 
change in the noun 'ka^uppu,' bitterness, which may optionally be 
written and pronounced ' keippu ;' ' kasuppu ' changing first into 
' kaynppn,' and then into ' keippu.' 

It should also be observed that 'peim' has not superseded 'pasum,' 
though it may optionally be used instead of it, for ' pasum ' also is 
still in use ; and this proves that both forms are grammatically equi- 
valent. ' 



In this section it will be my endeavour to investigate the nature 
and aflFections of the Dravidian noun, with the view of ascertaining its 
method of expressing the relations of gender and number, and the 
principles on which that method proceeds, together with the charac- 
teristics and origin of its case-system, or system of means for expressing 
the relationship of nouns with other parts of speech. It will be shown 
at the close of the section on ' The Verb,' how derivative nouns are 
formed from verbal roots ; and the various classes of participial nouns 
will then also be investigated. 

Part I.— Gender and Number. 

]. Gender. 

When the Indo-European laws of gender are compared with those 
of the Scythian group of tongues, it will appear that in this point, as 
in many others, the Dravidian languages accord more closely with the 
Scythian than with the Indo-European family. 

In all the more primitive Indo-European languages, not only are 
words that denote rational beings and living creatures regarded as 
masculine or feminine, according to the sex of the objects referred to, 
but also inanimate objects and even abstract ideas have similar sexual 
distinctions attributed to them; so that many nouns which are 
naturally destitute of gender, and which ought therefore to be regarded 
as neuters, are treated by the grammars of those languages as if the 
objects they denote were males and females, and are fitted not with 
neuter, but with masculine or feminine case-terminations, and with 
pronouns of corresponding genders. This peculiar system is a proof 
of the highly imaginative and poetical character of the Indo-European 
mind, by which principles of resemblance were discerned in the 

GENDEK. 171 

midst of the greatest differences, and all things that exist were not 
only animated, but personified. A similar remark applies to the 
Semitic languages also, in which the same or a similar usage respecting 
gender prevailed. 

In the progress of the corruption of the primitive Indo-European 
languages, a less imaginative but more natural usage gained ground : 
nevertheless, in a majority of the modern colloquial dialects of this 
family, both in Europe and in India, the gender of nouns is still an 
important and difficult section of the grammar, and a standing im- 
pediment in the way of the idiomatic use of those languages by 

On the other hand, in the Manchu, Mongolian, Turkish, and 
Finnish families of tongues — the principal families of the Scythian 
group — a law or usage respecting the gender of nouns universally 
prevails, which is generically different from that of the Indo-European 
and the Semitic idioms. In those families, not only are all things 
which are destitute of reason and life denoted by neuter nouns, but no 
nouns whatever, not even nouns which denote human beings, are 
regarded as in themselves masculine or feminine. All nouns, as such, 
are neuter, or rather are destitute of gender. In those languages 
there is no mark of gender inherent in, or inseparably annexed to, the 
nominative of any noun (the crude root being generally the nomina- 
tive); and in none of the oblique cases, or post-positions used as 
case-terminations, is the idea of gender at all involved. The unimagi- 
native Scythians reduced all things, whether rational or irrational, 
animate or inanimate, to the same dead level, and regarded them all as 
impersonal. They prefixed to common nouns, wherever they found it 
necessary, some word denoting sex, equivalent to 'male' or 'female,' 
'he' or 'she;' but they invariably regarded such nouns as in themselves 
neuters, and generally they supplied them with neuter pronouns. The 
only exceptions to this rule in the Scythian languages consist in a few 
words, such as ' God,' ' man,' ' woman,' ' husband,' ' wife,' which are so 
highly instinct with personality that of themselves, and without the 
addition of any word denoting sex, they necessarily convey the signi- 
fication of masculine or feminine. 

When our attention is turned to the Dravidian languages we find 
that whilst their rules respecting gender differ generally from those of 
the Indo-European group, they are not quite identical with those of the 
Scythian. It seems probable, however, that the particulars in which 
the Dravidian rules respecting gender differ from those of the Scythian 
languages, and evince a tendency in the Indo-European direction, are 
not the result of Sanscrit influences, of which no trace is perceptible 

172 THE NOUN. 

in this department of Dravidian grammar, but have arisen from the 
progressive mental cultivation of the Dravidians themselves. 

Dravidian nouns are divided into two classes, which Tamil gram- 
marians denote by the technical terms of ' high caste ' and ' caste-less 
nouns, but which are called by Telugu grammarians ' mahat,' majors 
and 'a-mahat,' minors. 'High-caste' nouns, or 'majors,' are those 
which denote ' the celestial and infernal deities and human beings,' 
or, briefly, all things that are endowed with reason; and in all the 
Dravidian dialects (with a peculiar exception which is found only in 
the Telugu and the Gond) nouns of this class are treated in the 
singular as masculines or feminines respectively, and in the plural as 
epicenes, that is, without distinguishing between masculines and 
feminines, but distinguishing both from the neuter. The other class of 
nouns, called ' caste-less,' or ' minors,' includes everything which is 
destitute of reason, whether animate or inanimate. This classification 
of nouns, though not so imaginative as that of the Indo-European and 
Semitic tongues, is decidedly more philosophical; for the difference 
between rational beings and beings or things which are destitute of 
reason, is more momentous and essential than any difference that 
exists between the sexes. The New Persian, which uses one plural- 
ising particle for nouns that denote animated beings and another and 
different one for things that are destitute of life, is the only Un-Dra- 
vidian language in which nouns are classified in a manner which is in 
any degree similar to the Dravidian system.* The peculiar Dravidian 
law of gender which has now been described would appear to be a 
result of grammatical cultivation; for the masculine, feminine, and 
epicene suffixes which form the terminations of Dravidian 'high-caste' 
nouns, are properly fragments of pronouns or demonstratives of the 
third person, as are also some of the neuter formatives. It may, 
indeed, be stated as a general rule that all primitive Dravidian nouns 
are destitute of gender, and that every noun or pronoun in which the 
idea of gender is formally expressed, being a compound word, is 
necessarily of later origin than the uncompounded primitives. The 
technical term by which such nouns are denoted by the grammarians 
is ' pagu-padam,' divisible words, i.e., compounds. Hence the poetical 
dialects, which retain many of the primitive land-marks, are fond of 
discarding the ordinary sufiSxes of gender or rationality, and treating 

* This is not the only particular in which the Dravidion idiom attributes 
greater importance than the Indo-European, to reason and the mind. We make 
our bodies the seat of personality. When we are suffering from any bodily 
ailment, we say '/ am ill;' whereas the Drilvidians denote the mind — the con- 
scious self or 'atmSl.'— when they say /, and therefore say, more philosophically, 
'my body is ill.' 

GENDER. 173 

all nouns, as far as possible, as abstract neuters. Thus in poetical 
Tamil 'Dev-u,' God, a crude noun destitute of gender, is reckoned 
more classical than 'Dev-an,' the corresponding masculine noun. This 
word is a Sanscrit derivative, but the same tendency to fall back 
upon the old Scythian rule appears in the case . of many other words 
which are primitive Dr^vidian nouns j e.g., ' iRei,' a king, a word 
which is destitute of gender, is more classical than 'iRei-(v)-an,' the 
commoner form, which possesses the masculine singular termination. 

In the modern Tamil which is spoken by the educated classes, the 
words which denote 'sun' and 'moon' ('suriy-an' and ' sandir-an,' 
derived from the Sanscrit ' surya' and ' chandra,') are of the masculine 
gender, in accordance with Sanscrit usage and with the principles of 
the Brahmanical religion ; but in the old Tamil of the poets and the 
peasants, 'njayiRu,' the sun, and 'tinggal,' the moon, both pure Dra- 
vidian words, are neuters. All true Dravidian names of towns, 
rivers, &c., are in like manner destitute of every mark of personality 
or gender. In some few instances the Malayalam and the , Canarese 
retain the primitive laws of gender more faithfully than the Tamil. 
Thus, in the Tamil word 'peiyan,' a boy, we find the masculine 
singular termination ' an ;' whereas the Malayalam (with which agrees 
the Canarese,) uses the older word ' peital,' a word (properly a verbal 
noun) which is destitute of gender; to which it prefixes in a thoroughly 
Scythian manner words that signify respectively ' male ' and ' female,' 
to form compounds signifying ' boy' and 'girl;' e.g., 'an peital,' a hoy, 
' pen peital,' a girl. 

The nature and origin of the terminations wjiich are used to signify 
gender in the various Dravidian dialects, will be enquired into under 
the head of ' Number,' with the consideration of which this subject is 
inseparably connected. Under this head I restrict, myself to a state- 
ment of the general principles respecting gender, which characterize 
the Dravidian languages. 

A peculiarity of the Telugu, which appears also in the G6nd, 
should here be mentioneil. Whilst those dialects agree with the other 
members of the Dr&vidian family in regarding masculines and feminines 
and both combined as constituting in the plural a common or epicene 
gender ; they difier from the other dialects in this respect, that they 
are wholly or virtually destitute of a feminine singular, and instead of 
the feminine singular use the singular of the neuter. 

This rule includes in its operation pronouns and verbs as well as 
substantives, and applies to goddesses and queens, as well as to 
ordinary women. The Telngu possesses, it is true, a few forms which 
are appropriate to the feminine singular, but they are rarely used, and 

174 THE NOUN. 

that only in certain rare combinations and conjunctures. ' He' and 
'it,' are the only pronouns of the third person singular, which are 
ordinarily made use of by fourteen millions of the Telugu people; 
and the colloquial dialect does not even possess any pronoun, 
equivalent to our pronoun ' she,' which is capable of being applied 
to women of the lower as well as of the higher classes. Ordinarily 
every woman is spoken of in Telugu as a chattel or a thing, or as we 
are accustomed to speak of very young children {e.g., ' it did so and 
so'), apparently in the supposition either that women are destitute of 
reason, or that their reason, like that of infants, lies dormant. Whilst 
each woman taken singly is treated by Telugu grammar as a chattel 
or as a child, women taken collieotively are regarded with as much 
respect as by the other Dravidian dialects. In the plural tBey are 
honoured with the same 'high-caste' or 'rational' suflSxesand pronouns 
that are applied to men and gods. 

The Canarese and MalayMam agree in this point with the Tamil, 
and regard women, not in the plural only, but also in the singular, as 
pertaining to the class of 'rationals:' accordingly in those languages 
there is a feminine singular pronoun equivalent to ' she,' which corres- 
ponds in the principle of its formation to the masculine ' he.' With 
those languages agrees the Ku, whichi though the near neighbour of 
the Telugu and the G6nd, pursues in this respect a politer course than 

In the idioms of the Tudas and Kotas, the rude aborigines of the 
Nilgherry hills, there is no pronoun of the feminine singular; but 
instead of the feminine, those dialects appear to use not the neuter 
but the masculine. This extraordinary usage reminds one of the 
employment in the Old Hebrew of the same pronoun, ' hu,' to signify 
both ' he' and 'she.' 

2. Number. 
The Dtavidian languages recognize only two numbers, the singular 
and the plural. The dual, properly so called, is unknown, and there 
is no trace extant of its use at any previous period. Several of the 
languages of this family contain two plurals of the pronoun of the first 
person, one of which includes the party addressed as well as the party 
of the speaker, and which' may therefore be considered' as a species of 
dual, whilst the other excludes the party addressed; As, howevef,' 
this peculiarity is restricted to the personal pronouns, it will be 
examined in that connexion. Under the head of ' Number,' we shall 
enquire into the Dravidian mode of forming the masculine, feminine, 
and neuter singular, and the epicene and neuter plural. 


(l.) Masculine Singidar. — It has already been intimated that the 
formatives by which the gender of nouns is occasionally expressed, are 
identical with the terminations of the demonstrative pronouns. From 
a very early period of the history of these languages, particles or for- 
matives of gender were suflBxed to the demonstrative bases, by the 
addition of which suflSxes demonstrative pronouns were formed. Those 
formatives of gender were not originally appended to or combined 
with suhstantiiie nouns; but their use was gradually extended as their 
utility was perceived, and nouns which included the idea of gender, 
learned to express that idea by suffixing the gender-terminations of the 
pronouns, whereby they became appellative nouns. The manner in 
which all these suffixes are added will be sufficiently illustrated by the 
instance of the masculine singular. 

The masculine singular suffix of the Tamil is ' an,' ' an,' or ' on.' 
'An,' the shorter formatiTe, is that which appears in the demonstrative 
pronoun 'avan' ('a-(v)-an'), he; and by suffixing any of these formatives 
to an abstract or neuter noun, the noun ceases to be abstract, and 
becomes a concrete masculine-singular appellative. Thus 'mupp-u,' 
ffl^'e, by the addition of 'an' becomes ' mupp-an,' an elder, literally 
age-he, ot age-man; and from ' Tamir' comes 'Tamir-an,' a Tamilian, 
a Tamil-man . 

These and similar nouns are called genericaUy ' compound or divi- 
sible words' by Tamil grammarians. They are obviously compounded 
of a noun — generally a noun of quality or relation — and a suffix of 
gender, which appears also to have been a noun originally. 

In the instances which have been adduced, the suffix of gender is 
annexed to the nominative or casiis rectus; but in many cases it is 
annexed to the oblique case or inflexional base, viz., to that form of 
the noun to which the case signs are suffixed, and which when used by 
itself has the meaning of the genitive. When the inflexion, or oblique 
case, is employed instead of the nominative in compounds of this 
nature, it generally conveys a genitival or possessive signification: e.g. 
' madeiyman' (' malei-(y)-m-an'), a mountaineer, literally a man of the 
mmintain; 'pattinaiian' (' pattin'-a«'-an '), a cifiscn, liteiaMj a m^an of 
the city. Sometimes, however, the genitival ' in ' is merely added 
euphonically; e.g., there is no diflference in meaning between 'villan,' 
a hoviman,' SLn6. 'villiwan' (' vil^-^»^-an'), which is considered a more 
elegant form. 

Words of this description are in some grammars called 'adjectives;' 
but they are never regarded as such by any native grammarians: they 
cannot be simply prefixed for the purpose of qualifying other words ; 

176 THE NOUN. 

and it is evident from their construction that they are merely appella- 
tive nouns. 

A subdivision of appellatives consists of words in which the suffixes 
of gender are annexed to adjectival forms; e.g., 'kodiya-n,' a criiel 
man. I regard words of this class as participial nouns, and they will 
be investigated in the section on ' The Verb,' under the head of 'Appel- 
lative Verbs;' but whatever be the nature of 'kodiya' (the first part 
of the compound), 'kodiya-n,' is certainly not an adjective; for before 
it can be used adjectivally we must append to it the relative participle 
' ana,' that is ; e.g. ' kodiyan-ana,' that is a cruel man, and as the com- 
pound cruel man, cannot be called an adjective in English, neither is 
' kodiyan' an adjective in Tamil: it is properly an appellative noun. 
It may be said that the neuter plural of this word, viz., ' kodiya,' may 
be prefixed adjectivally to any substantive : but ' kodiya,' cruel things, 
the neuter plural of ' kodiyan,' is not identical with the adjective 
' kodiya,' cruel, but totally distinct from it, though so similar in appear- 
ance. The 'a' of the former word is the neuter suffix of plurality; 
whereas the ' a' of the latter is that of the possessive case and of the 
relative participle, as will be shown at the close of this section (see 
'Adjectival Formatives') and in the section on ' Verbs.' 

Another species of Tamil appellative nouns is said by Beschi to be 
formed by annexing suffixes of gender to verbal roots, e.g., ' oduvan/ 
a reader, from ' odu,' to read ; but this, I believe, is an error. Those 
words are to be regarded as participial nouns, and '6duvan,' is literally 
he who will read, i.e., he who is accustomed to read. 

In the same manner '6dinan,' is the participial noun of the preterite 
tense, and means he who read or is accustomed to read: '6dugindravan,' 
the corresponding present participial noun, he who reads, belongs to 
the same class ; and these forms are not to be confounded with appel- 
lative nouns properly so called. On the other hand, such words as 
' kippan,' a protector, are ti'ue appellatives ; but ' kappan' is not 
formed from the future tense of. the verb (though 'kappan' means he 
will protect), but from ' kappu,' protection, a derivative noun, of which 
the final and formative 'ppu' is from the same origin as the corresponding 
final of ' muppu,' old age. See the concluding part of the section on 
' The Verb.' 

The suffixes of gender which form the terminal portion of appella- 
tive nouns vary somewhat in form; but they are one and the same in 
origin, and their variations are merely euphonic. It is the vowel only 
that varies, never the consonant. 

When a neuter noun ends with a vowel which is essential to it, 


and is incapable of elision, and also when a noun happens to be a long 
monosyllable, 'an,' or in poetry 'on,' is more commonly suffixed than 
' an.' In some cases ' avan,' he, the full demonstrative pronoun, is 
suffixed instead of its termination only; and this mode is thought 
peculiarly elegant. Thus from ' vill-u,' a how, we may form ' vill-an,' 

* vill-an,' and ' vill-on,' an archer, u bowman, and also ' vill-avan.' 
Indeed ' an ' and ' on,' have possibly been formed, not from ' an,' but 
from 'a-(v)-an,' by the softening of the euphonic ' v,' and the coales- 
cence of the vowels. This corruption of ' avan ' into ' an,' appears 
systematically in the third person masculine singular of the colloquial 
Tamil verb; e.g., ' p6n-an ' (not ' pon-avan '), he went. 

The Canarese masculine singular suffix 'anu,' is identical with 
the Tamil ' an,' the addition of ' u' being a phonetic necessity of the 
modern dialect. In the older Canarese, the termination which was 
used was ' am ;' a particle which is to be regarded as the equivalent 
of ' an,' ' n ' and ' m ' being interchangeable nasals. The Malayalam 
is, in this particular, perfectly identical with the Tamil. 

The Teluga masculine singular formative is ' d-u,' ' ud-u,' or 
'ad-uj' e.g., 'vadu' ('va-adu'), he; and by suffixing the same for- 
mative to any substantive noun, it becomes a masculine singular; 
e^g., 'mag-adu,' a htisband, a word which is identical in origin with 
the Tamil ' mag-an,' a son (the primitive and proper meaning of 
each word being a male). The masculine singular suffix of the 
Telugu often takes the shape of ' ud-u,' and in like manner the 
epicene plural suffix, which is in Tamil ' ar-u,' is often ' ur-u ' in 
Telugu; but in these instances 'a' changes into 'u' through attrac- 

As the Tamil forms masculine appellatives by suffixing the demon- 
strative pronoun ' avan,' so does the Telugu sometimes suffix its full 
demonstrative pronoun ' vadu ;' e.g., ' chinna-vada,' a hoy (Tamil, 

* sinna-(v)-an'), literally Ae who is little. It is probable that the Telugu 
masculine singular suffix was originally ' an ' or ' an-u,' as in Tamil- 
Canarese. ' adu,' ' ud-u,' or ' du,' is found only in the nominative 
in correct Telugu, and it is replaced in all the oblique cases by ' ani ' 
or ' ni ;' and that this ' ni ' is not merely an inflexional increment, 
but the representative of an old masculine singular suffix, appears on 
comparing it with 'ri,' the corresponding oblique-case suffix of the 
masculine-feminine plural, which is certainly formed from 'ar-u.' 
When ' vaniki,' to him, is compared with its plural 'variki,' to them, 
it is evident that the former corresponds as closely to the Tamil 
'avanukku' as the latter to 'avarukku;' and consequently the 'ni ' 
of 'vAniki,' must be significant of the masculine singular. Probably 

178 THE NOUN. 

the same termination survives in the deraonstralivBi ' ayana,' he, a 
form which is more rarely used than ' vadu.' 

That the Tamil-Oanarese masculine sufEx ' an,' and the Telugu 
' ad-u ' or ' u^-u,' were originally one and the same, will, I think, 
appear when the derivation and connections of both are inquired 
into. The Ku, though one of the most barbarous of the Dravidiau 
dialects, throws more light than any other upon this point. It forms 
its demonstrative pronouns in a simple and truly primitive manner by 
prefixing ' a,' the demonstrative base, to common nouns, which sig- 
nify man and woman. Those nouns are ' anj-u,' a man, and ' al-u,' a 
woman; and 'aanj-n' (compare Tam., ' a(v)an '), literally that man, is 
used to signify he, and ' aalu ' (compare Tam. ' a(v)al ') that woman, to 
signify sAe. The Ku ' anj-u,' a man, is certainly -identical with the 
Tamil noun 'an,' a male: and we see the same root in the Ancient 
Can. 'anma,' a husband, a ruler, and ' anmu,' to he brave (compare 
the Tamil abstract noun ' an-mei,' strength). In the use to which this 
primitive root is put in the Ku word ' &-anj-u,' we cannot but see the 
origin of 'an,' the suffix of the masculine singular in most of the 
Dravidian dialects. The final ' n,' and probably the entife termina- 
tion 'nju,' of the Ku word ' afi-ju,' being merely euphonic, the root 
appears to be ' Sn ;' and as ' n ' and ' n ' have been shown to be 
interchangeable, ' an ' must be regarded as only another form of ',an.' 
' n,' again, is not only often euphonised by suffixing ' du ' (e.g., ' pen,' 
Tam., a female, colloquially and poetically ' pend-u '), but it is also 
sometimes directly changed into ' d,' of which we have an instance 
in the classical Tamil ' ped-ei,' a hen, a word which is derived by 
this process from, and is identical with, ' pen,' a female. Hence, the 
Telugu suffix ' ad-u,' might naturally be derived from an older form 
in 'an,' if it should appear that that form existed; and that it did 
exist, appears from the vulgar use to the present day of ' n ' instead 
of ' n ' in some of the oblique cases {e.g., ' vanni,' him, instead of 
' vani '), and from the ' half anuswara,' or obscure nasal, which pre- 
cedes ' du' itself in the speech of the vulgar and in the written com- 
positions of the pedantic; e.g., ' vawdu,' for 'vadu,' Ae. A close 
connection is thus established between the Tamil-C^narese ' an ' and 
the Telugu ' ad-u,' through the middle point ' an.' 

The only difficulty in the way of the perfect identification of the 
formative 'an' with the Ku, 'anj-u,' a man, and with the Tamil 
' an,' a male, lies in the length of the vowel of the latter words. 
Here again the Ku comes to our assistance; for we find that the 
vowel was euphonically shortened in some instances in the very 
dialect in which the origin of the word itself was discovered. In Kn 


the 'a' of 'Snj-u' is long, both when it is used as an isolated word 
and in the demonstratives, 'aanj-u,' he, and 'aal-u,' slie; but when 
the demonstrative pronoun is appended to, and combined with, the 
relative participle of the verb, so as to form with it a participial 
noun, the ' a ' of ' afij-u ' is shortened into ' a,' and in this shortened 
form the connection of the Ku formative with the Tamil-Canarese is 
seen to be complete. Compare the Ku participial noun ' gitanj-u,' he 
who did, with the corresponding Canarese ' geyidan-u ; ' gitar-u,' Ku, 
they who did, with ' geyidar-u,' Can., and also ' gital-u,' Ku, she who 
did, with ' geyidal-u,' Can. 

(2.) Feminine Singular. — Though the Telugu and the Gond gene- 
rally use the neuter singular to supply the place of the feminine 
singular, the other ,Dravidian dialects possess and constantly use a 
feminine singular formative which is quite distinct from that of the 
neuter. This formative is 'al,' in Tamil and Malayalam, 'al-u,' in 
Canarese ; and by suffixing the sign of gender to the demonstrative 
base, the feminine singular demonstrative pronoun 'aval' (a-(v)-ar), 
she, is formed — a word which perfectly corresponds to 'avan' (gr-(v)-an'), 

A numerous class of feminine singular appellative nouns is formed 
by suffixing the same particle to abstract or neuter nouns in their 
crude state; e.g., compare 'mag-aJ,' Tain., a daughter, with 'mag-an,' 
o son; and (with an euphonic lengthening of the vowel) ' ill-al,' a 
house-vjife, a wife, with 'ill-an,' a husband. 

The Telugu, in some few connexions, uses a feminine singular for- 
mative which appears to be identical with that of the Tarail- 
Canarese. That formative is ' al-u,' which is used by the Ku more 
largely than by the Telugu ; and its identity with the Tamil-Canarese 
' al,' will be found to furnish us with a clue to the origin and literal 
meaning of the latter. As ' afij-u,' in Ku, means a man, so ' al-u,' 
means a woman : ' aaj-u,' she, is literally that woman. The same word 
' al-u,' means a woman, a wife, in poetical and vulgar Telugu also ; and 
in G6nd there is a word which is apparently allied to it, ' ar,' a 
woman. Even in Sans, we meet with ' ali,' a woman's female friend. 
It is evident that ' al-u,' would be shortened into ' al,' as easily as 
' anj-u ' into ' an,' and the constant occurrence of a cerebral ' 1 ' in 
Tamil and Canarese, where the Telugu has the medial '1,' fully 
accounts for the change of the one semi-vowel into the other. The 
unchanged form of this suffix appears in Telugu in such words as 
' manama-(r)-alu,' a granddaughter, compared with 'manama-du,' a 
grand-son. The abbreviation of the vowel of the feminine suffix, 

N 2 

180 THE NOUN. 

which ia characteristic of the Tamil and Canarese, is exemplified in 
Telugu also, in the words 'maradal-u,' a niece, and 'kodal-u, a daugpier- 
in-lawf in which words the feminine suffix ' al-u,' is evidentical 
identical both with the Tamil-Canarese 'al' or 'al-u,' and also with 
' al-u,' the older and more regular form of this suffix, which is capable 
of being used by itself as a noun. 

Probably the Tel. ' ad-u,' adj., female, is identical in origin with 
' al-u,' through the very common interchange of ' d ' and ' 1 ;' an illus- 
tration of which we have in ' kei-(y)-alu,' Tam., to use, which is con- 
verted in the colloquial dialect to ' kei-(y)-adu.'* 

The feminine singular suffix, ' al ' or ' al-u,' appears in Tamil and 
Canarese in the terminations of verbs as well as in those of pronouns. 
The Telugu, on the other hand, which uses the neuter demonstrative 
instead of the feminine singular, uses the final fragment of the same 
demonstrative as the termination of the feminine singular of its- 

It may be remarked that in some of the Caucasian dialects, ' n ' 
and '1' are used as masculine and feminine terminals, exactly as in 
Tamil : e.g., in Awar, ' emew,' is father, ' eve?,' is wather. 

There is another mode of forming the feminine singular of appel- 
lative nouns, which is much used in all the Dravidian dialects, and 
which may be regarded as especially characteristic of the Telugu. It 
consists in suffixing the Telugu neuter singular demonstrative, its ter- 
mination, or a modification of it, to any abstract or neuter noun. The 
neuter singular demonstrative being used by the Telugu instead of the 
feminine singular (it for she), this neuter suffix has naturally in Telugu 
supplied the place of a feminine suffix ; and though in the other dialects 
the feminine pronouns are formed by means of feminine suffixes, not by 
those of the neuter, yet the less respectful Telugu usage has crept into 
the department of their appellative nouns. 

In Tamil, this neuter-feminine suffix is 'atti' or ' tti.' This will 
appear on comparing ' vellal-atti,' a woman of the cultivator caste, with 

* It ia more doubtful whether the G6nd-Telugu, ' Jll-u,' a woman, is allied to 
the Tamil common noun 'tl,' a person; and yet the existence of some alliance 
seems probable. ' tl,' means properly a subject person, a servant — male or 
female, a slave. It is derived from '9,1' (Tel. '61-u'), to rule, and this seems a 
natural enough origin for a word intended to signify a Hindu woman. The 
ordinary Tamil word which signifies a woman is ' pen,' the literal signification 
of which is desire, from the verbal root ' pen,' to desire; but the word is generally 
restricted to mean a young woman, a bride. Hence, taking into consideration 
the subject position of women in India, the word ' ill,' one who is subject to rule, 
a person whose sole duty is to obey, is as natural a derivation for a word signify-, 
ing a woman, a female, as 'pen;' and perhaps more likely to come into general 
use as a suffix of the feminine singular. 


■ vellal-an,' a man of the same caste ; ' oru-tti,' one woman, ' una,' with 
' oru-(v)-aii,' one man, ^ unws ; and ' vaimS.-tti,' a zcasAej-toomaw, with 
' vanna-n,' a washerman. ' tt/ a portion of this suffix, is erroneously 
used in vulgar Tamil as a component element in the masculine appella- 
tive noun ' oruttan/ one man, instead of the classical and correct 
' oruvan.' With this solitary exception its use is exclusively 

The same suffix is ' iti 'or ' ti ' iu Canarese, e.g., ' arasiti,' a queen 
(corresponding to the Tamil ' rasatti '), ' okkalati,-' a farmer's wife.' 
The Telugu uses ' adi ' or ' di,' e.g., ' k6mati-(y)-adi ' or ' komati-di,' a 
woman of the Komti caste; ' mala-di,' a Pariar woman; 'chinna-di,' 
a girl. 

It seems to me evident, not only that all these suffixes are identical, 
but that the Telugu form of the demonstrative neuter singular, viz. 
' adi,' it, which is used systematically by the Telugu to signify she, is 
the root from whence they have all proceeded. 

Another feminine singular suffix of appellatives which is occa- 
sionally used in the Dravidian languages, has been derived from the 
imitation of the Sanscrit. It consists in the addition of 'i' to the 
crude or neuter noun ; and it is only in quantity that this ' i ' differs 
from the long ' I,' which is so much used by the Sanscrit as a feminine 
suffix. In the majority of cases it is only in connexion with Sanscrit 
derivatives that this suffix is used ; but it has also come to be appended 
to some pure Dravidian nouns; e.g., 'manei-(v)-i,' Tam., a house-wife,' 
from ' manei,' a house ; and ' talei-(v)-i,' Tam., a lady (compare 
' talei-(v)-an,' a lord), from ' talei,' a head : compare also the Gond 
'perdgal,' a hoy, with 'perdgi,' a girl. This feminine suffix is not to 
be confounded with 'i,' a suffix of agency, which is much used in the 
formation of nouns of agency and operation, and 'which is used by all 
genders indiscriminately. See ' Verbal Derivatives,' at the close of 
the section on ' The Verb.' 

(3.) Neuter Singular. — There is but little which is worthy of 
remark in the singular forms of neuter Dravidian nouns. Every 
Dravidian noun is naturally neuter, or destitute of gender, and it 
becomes masculine or feminine solely in virtue of the addition of a 
masculine or feminine suffix, When abstract Sanscrit^ nouns are 
adopted by the Dravidians, the neuter form of those nouns (ending in 
' am ') is generally retained ; and there are also some neuter nouns of 
pure Dravidian origin which end in 'am,' or take 'am' as their for- 
liiative. The Dravidian termination 'am' is not to be regarded, 
however, as a sign of the neuter, or a neuter suffix, though such is an- 



doubtedly its character in Sanscrit, It is merely one of a numerous 
class of formatives, of which much use is made by the Dravidian 
dialect, and by the addition of which crude verbal roots become deri- 
vative nouns. Such formatives are to be regarded as forming a part 
of the noun itself, not of the inflexional additions. See ' Verbal 
Derivatives,' at the close of the section on ' The Verb.' 

All animated beings that are destitute of reason are placed by 
Drividian grammarians in the 'caste-less,' or neuter class, and the 
nouns that denote such animals, both in the singular and in the plural, 
are uniformly regarded as neuter or destitute of gender, irrespective of 
the animal's sex. 

If it happens to be necessary to distinguish the sex of any animal 
that is included in this class, a separate word, signifying ' male ' or 
' female,' ' cock ' or ' hen,' is prefixed. Even in such cases, however, 
the pronoun with which the noun stands in agreement is neuter, and 
notwithstanding the specification of the animal's sex, the noun itself 
remains in the ' caste-less ' or neuter class. 

For this reason, suffixes expressive of the neuter gender, whether 
singular or plural, were not much required by Dravidian substantive 
nouns. The only neuter singular suffix of the Dravidian languages, 
which is nsed in the same manner as the masculine ' an ' or ' adu,' and 
the feminine ' al,' is that which constitutes the termination of the 
neuter singular of demonstrative -pronouns and appellative nouns. 
This pronoun is in Tamil-Canarese 'adu,' that, ' idu,' this; in Telugu 
' adi,' ' idi ;' in Malayalam ' ata,' ' ita ;' in Gond ' ad,' ' id.' 

The same neuter demonstrative, or in some instances its termina- 
tion only, is used in the conjugation of Dravidian verbs as the sign of 
the neuter singular of each tense, and in Telugu as the sign of the 
feminine singular also. The bases of the Dravidian demonstratives 
being 'a ' and 'i ' ('a' remote, ' i ' proximate), that part of each pro- 
noun which is found to be annexed to those demonstrative vowels is 
evidently a suffix of number and gender ; and as the final vowels of 
' ad-u,' ' ad-i,' ' at-a,' ' id-u,' ' id-i,' ' it-a,' are merely euphonic, and 
have been added only for the purpose of helping the enunciation, it is 
evident that 'd' or 't' alone constitutes the sign of the neuter sin- 
gular. This view is confirmed by the circumstance that ' d ' or ' t ' 
never appears in the neuter plural of this demonstrative, but is replaced 
by ' ei,' ' u,' ' i,' or short ' a,' with a preceding euphonic ' v ' or ' n ;' 
e.g., compare 'adu' ('a-d-u'), Tam., that, with 'ava' ('a-(v)-a'), 
Malayalam, those. It will be shown afterwards that this final ' a ' is 
a sign of the neuter plural. 

Appellative nouns which form their masc. singular in Tamil in 


' an,' and their feminine sing, in 'al/ form their neuter sing, by annex- 
ing ' du,' with such euphonic changes as the previous consonant 
happens to require; e.g., 'nalla-du,' a good thing; 'al-du,' euphonically 
' audru,' a thing that is not; ' periyardu ' or ' peri-du,' great, a great 

This neuter singular suffix ' d,' is largely used in all the dialects 
in the formation of verbal nouns, e.g., ' p6giEa-du,' Tam., the act of 
going, 'p6na-du,' the having gone, 'p6va-du,' the being about to go. 
This form has been represented by some, but erroneously, as an infini- 
tive : it is a concrete verbal or participial noun of the neuter gender, 
which has gradually come to he used as an abstract. 

The affinities of the neuter singular suffix in 'd' or 't,' are. ex- 
clusively Indo-European, and they are found especially in the Indo- 
European pronouns and pronorainals. We may observe this suffix in 
the Sanscrit 'tad' or 'tat,' that; in 'tyad,' that; in 'adas,' a weakened 
form of ' adat,' that; in ' etad,' this. We find it also in the Latin 
'illud,' 'id,' &c. (compare the Latin 'id,' with the Tamil 'i-du,' 
this); and in our English demonstrative neuter 'it' (properly 'hit'), 
the neuter of ' he," as also in ' what,' the neuter of ' who.' Compare 
also the Vedic 'it,' an indeclinable pronoun, described as ' a petrified 
neuter,' which combines with the negative particle ' na ' to form ' net,' 
if not, apparently in the same manner as in Telugu the aoristic 
neuter 'ledu,' there is not, is compounded of the negative 'la ' and the 
suffix ' du.' 

Though the Dravidian languages appear in this point to be allied 
to the Sanscrit family, it would be unsafe to suppose that they bor- 
rowed this neuter singular suffix from the Sanscrit. The analogy of 
the Dravidian neuter plural in ' a,' which though Indo-European, is 
foreign to the Sanscrit, and that of the remote and proximate demon- 
strative vowels ' a ' and ' i,' which though known to the Indo-Euro- 
pean family, are used more systematically and distinctively by the 
Dravidian languages than by any other class of tongues, would lead 
to the supposition that these particles were inherited by the Dravidian 
family, in common with the Sanscrit, from a primitive, Pre-Sanscrit 

The Plural : Principles of Pluralisation. — In the primitive 
Indo-European tongues, the plural is carefully distinguished from the 
singular ; and with the exception of a few nouns of quantity which 
have the form of the singular but a plural signification, the 'number' 
of nouns is always clearly denoted by their inflexional terminations. 
Nouns whose number is indefinite, like our modern English ' sheep,' 

184 THE NOUN. 

are unknown to the older dialects of this family. In the languages of 
the Scythian group a looser principle prevails, and number is generally 
left indefinite, ao that it is the connexion alone which determines 
■whether a noun is singular or plural. The Manchu restricts the use 
of its pluralising particle to words wliich denote animated beings : all 
other words are left destitute of signs of number. Even the Tartar, 
or Oriental Turkish, ordinarily pluralises the pronouns alone, and 
leaves the number of other nouns indeterminate. In the Brahui also, 
the number of nouns is generally left undefined; and when it is 
desired to attach to any noun the idea of plurality, a word signifying 
' many ' or, ' several ' is prefixed to it. Notwithstanding this rule, 
Brahui verbs are regularly pluralised ; and the number of an inde- 
terminate noun may often be ascertained from the number of the verb 
with which it agrees. 

With respect to principles of pluralisation, the Dr4vidian tongues 
difier considerably from the Indo-European family, and accord on the 
whole with surprising exactness with the languages of the Scythian 
stock. The number of Dravidian nouns, especially of neuter nouns, is 
ordinarily indefinite ; and it depends upon the connexion whether any 
noun is to be regarded as singular or as plural. It is true that when 
more 'persons' than one are referred to, the 'bigh-caste' or 'rational' 
pronouns that are used are almost invariably plural ; and that even 
neuter nouns themselves are sometimes pluralised, especially in polished 
prose compositions : but the poets and the peasants, the most faithful 
guardians of antique forms of speech, rarely pluralise the neuter, and 
are fond of using the singular noun in an indefinite singular-plural 
sense, without specification of number, except in so far as it is 
expressed by the context. This rule is adhered to with especial 
strictness by the Tamil, which in this, as in many other particulars, 
exhibits most faithfully the primitive condition of the Dravidian lan- 
guages. Thus in Tamil, ' madu,' ox, means either an ox or oxen, 
according to the connexion ; and even when a numeral is prefixed 
which necessarily conveys the idea of plurality, idiomatic speakers 
prefer to retain the singular or indefinite form of the noun. Hence 
they will rather say ' nalu madu meygiRadu,' literally /oi/r ox is feed' 
ing, than ' nalu madugal meygindrana,' four oxen are feeding,' which 
would sound olamsy and pedantic. 

Even when a neuter noun is pluralised by the addition of a plura- 
lising particle, the verb is rarely pluralised to correspond ; but the 
singular form of verb is still used for the plural, — the number of the 
neuter singular being naturally indeterminate. This is invariably the 
practice in the speech of the lower classes ; and the colloquial style 


of even the best educated classes exhibits a similar characteristic. The 
Tamil language contains, it is true, a plural form of the third person 
neuter of the verb, and the existence of this form is a clear proof of 
the high cultivation of the Tamil ; but the use of the neater plural 
verb is ordinarily restricted to poetry, and even m poetry the singular. 
number both of neuter nouns and of the verbs that correspond is much 
more commonly used than the plural. It should be remarked also, 
that the third person neuter of the Tamil future, or aorist, is altogether 
destitute of a plural. In this particular, therefore, the Tamil verb is 
more decidedly Scythian in character than the noun itself. Max 
Miiller supposes that a Dravidian neuter plural noun, vrith its sufSx 
of plurality, is felt to be a compound (like ' auimal-mass' for 
'animals,' or 'stone-heap' for 'stones'), and that it is on this 
account that it is followed by a verb in the singular. The explanation 
which I have given seems to me preferable. The number of all Dra- 
vidian nonns, whether 'high-caste' or 'caste-less,' was originally 
indefinite : the singular, the primitive condition of every noun, was 
then the only number which was or could be recognized by verbal or 
nominal inflexions, and plurality was left to be inferred from the con- 
text. As civilization made progress, the plural made its formal 
appearance, and effected a permanent settlement in the department of 
high-caste or masculine-feminine nouns and verbs ; whilst the number 
of caste-less or neuter nouns, whether suffixes of plurality were used 
or not, still remained generally unrecognized by the verb in the Dravi- 
dian languages. Even where the form exists it is little used. It is 
curious, that in this very point the Greek verb exhibits signs of 
Scythian influences, viz., in the use of the singular verb for the plural 

The Dravidian languages ordinarily express the idea of singularity 
or oneness, not by the addition of a singular suffix to nouns and pro- 
nouns, or by the absence of the pluralising particle (by which number 
is still left indeterminate), but by prefixing the numeral adjective 'one.' 
Thus, ' madu,' Tam., ox, does not mean exclusively either an osc or 
oxen, but admits of either meaning according to circumstances ; and 
if we, wish distinctly to specify singularity, we must say ' oru madu,' 
one or a certain ox. Europeans in speaking the Dravidian dialects, 
use this prefix of singularity too frequently, misled by their habitual 
use of an indefinite article in their own tongues. They also make too 
free a use of the distinctively plural form of neuter nouns, when the 
objects to vfhich they wish to refer are plural. Occasionally, when 
euphony or usage recommend it, this is done by Dravidians themselves, 
but as a general rule the neuter singular is used instead of the neuter 

186 THE NOUN. 

plural, and that not in the Tamil only, or in the Dravidian lan- 
guages only, but also in almost all the languages of the Scythian 

Another important particular in which the Indo-European languages 
differ from the Scythian is, that in the former the plural has a different 
set of case-terminations from the singular, by the use of which the idea 
of plurality is not separately expressed, but is conjoined with that of 
case-relation ; whilst in the latter family the plural uses the same set 
of case-terminations as the singular, and plurality is expressed by a 
sign of plurality common to all the cases, which is inserted between 
the singular or crude form of the noun and the case-terminations. In 
the Indo-European languages, each inflexion includes the twofold idea 
of number and of case. Thus there is a 'genitive singular' and a 
'genitive plural,' each of which is a complex idea; but there is uo 
inflexion which can be called ' genitive,' irrespective of number ; and 
in many instances (this of the genitive being one) there is no apparent 
connexion between the case-termination of the singular and that which 
is used in, and which constitutes, the plural. 

In those few cases in which the sign of number and the sign of 
case seem to have been originally distinct, and to have coalesced into 
one, the sign of case seems to have preceded that of number : e.g., the 
Gothic plural accusative 'ns,' is derived from 'n ' or ' m,' the sign of 
the accusative singular, and ' s,' the sign of plurality. When the 
Scythian family of languages is examined, it is found that each of 
their case-signs is fixed and unalterable. It expresses the idea of 
'case ' and nothing more, and is the same in the plural as in the sin- 
gular, with the exception of those few trivial changes which are 
required by euphony. The sign of plurality also is not only distinct 
from the case-sign, but is one and the same in all the cases. It is an un- 
alterable post-position — a fixed quantity; and it is not post-fixed to 
the case-sign, much less compounded with it, as in the Indo-European 
languages, but is prefixed to it. It is attached directly to the root 
itself, and followed by the variable signs of case. 

In the Dravidian languages a similar simplicity and rigidity of 
structure characterizes the use of the particles of plurality. They are 
added directly to the crude base of the noun (which is equivalent to 
the nominative singular), and are tlie same in each of the oblique 
cases as in the nominative. The signs of case are precisely the same 
in the plural as in the singular, the only difference being that in the 
singular they are suffixed to the crude noun itself, in the plural to the 
pluralising particle, after the addition of that particle to the crude 


For example, in Hungarian ' liaz,' a house, is declined as foUo-ws : 












' haz-nak 







In Tamil ' manei,' a home, is declined as follows ; 






















manei-gal (u)-kku 










manei-(y) idatt-il 







The particular signs which are used to express plurality and as 
exponents of case, are taken from the resources of each language; but 
the manner in which they are used in both languages is precisely the 

The neuter of Dravidian nouns being identical with the crude 
base, when the pluralising particle is attached to a neuter noun, it is 
attached to it not as a substitute for any suffix of the singular, but 
directly and without any change : it is attached to it pure and simple. 
In the case of masculine and feminine nouns, including pronouns, a 
somewhat different method of pluralisation is necessary. The singular 
of the masculine and feminine is formed, as has already been pointed out, 
by the addition to the root of particles denoting 'a male,' or 'a female.' 
Hence to pluralise those nouns, it is necessary either to add a pluralising 
particle to the masculine and feminine suffixes, or to substitute for 
those suffixes an epicene pluralising particle. 

In all the Dravidian languages the primitive plan of pluralising 
these two classes of nouns was that of substituting for the masculine 
and feminine singular suffixes a suffix of plurality which applied in 
common to men and women, without distinction of sex. This is the 
mode which is still used in most of the dialects; but in Telugu it 
retains its place only in connexion with pronouns and verbs, and 
has disappeared from substantives, which form their plural by means 
of a neuter suffix. 

188 THE NOUN. 

The classificatiou of Dravidian nouns into ' rationals ' and ' irra- 
tionals,' has already been explained : it has also been shown that in 
the singular, the masculine of ' rational ' nouns is distinguished from . 
the feminine. In the plural both those genders are combined; the 
high caste particle of plurality, or plural of rational beings, is the 
same for both genders, and includes men and women, gods and god- 
desses, without distinction of sex. 

'Irrational' or neuter nouns have a particle of plurality different 
from this and peculiar to themselves. Heuce the Dravidian languages 
have one form of the plural which may be called ' epicene' or ' mascu- 
line-feminine,' and another which is ordinarily restricted to the neuter; 
and by means of these pluralising particles, gender and number are 
conjointly expressed in the plural by one and the same termination. 
The masculine-feminine plural expresses the idea of plurality conjointly 
with that of rationality; the neuter plural, the idea of plurality con- 
jointly with that of irrationality. 

Arrangements of this kind for giving combined expression to 
gender and number, are very commonly observed in the Indo-European 
family; and even the plan of classing masculines and feminines 
together in the plural, without distinction of sex, is also very common. 
Thus the Sanscrit plural in ' as ' is masculine-feminine ; so is the 
Latin plural in,' es,' and the Greek in * e?.' 

The chief difference with respect to this point between the Dra- 
vidian system and the Indo-European one lies in this, that in the 
Dravidian languages, the masculine-feminine particle of plurality is 
carefully restricted to rational beings ; whereas in the Indo-European 
languages irrational and even inanimate objects are often complimented 
with inflexional forms and pluralising particles which imply the 
existence, not only of vitality, but even of personality, that is, rational 

A still closer analogy to the Dravidian system is that which is 
exhibited by the New Persian. That dialect possesses two pluralising 
particles of which one, 'an,' is suflSxed to nouns denoting living beings,* 
the other, ' ha,' to nouns denoting inanimate objects. The particles 
which are employed by the Persians are different from those which 

* Bopp derives ' &n,' the New Persian plural of animated beings, from the 
Sanscrit ' tn,' the masculine-plural accusative. I am inclined with Colonel Raw- 
linson to connect this particle with the Chaldaic and Cuthite plural ' &tl,' allied 
to'Sm' and 'tn' {e.g., 'an^n,' Chald., M;e); the New Persian being undoubtedly 
tinged with Chaldaco-Assyriau elements, through its connection with the Pehlvi. 
One is tempted to connect with this suffix our English plural suffix ' en/ in 
brethren; a suffix which is regularly used by the Dutch as a particle of plurality. 
Bopp, however, holds that this ' en,' is an ancient formative suffix, which wag 
originally used by the singular as well as the plural. 


are used in the Dravidian languages, but the principle is evidently 
analogous. The Persians specialise life, the Dravidians reason; and 
both of them class the sexes together indiscriminately in the plural. 

In Telugu some confusion has been introduced between the epicene 
sign of plurality ' ar-u,' and the neuter ' lu.' The pronouns, pluralise 
their masculines and feminines regularly by substituting ' ar-u ' for 
their masculine and feminine singular suffixes, whilst the substantives 
and some of the appellative nouns append ' lu/ which is properly the 
neuter sign of plurality, instead of the more correct ' ar-u.' Thus the 
Telugu demonstrative pronoun ' var-u,' they (the plural of ' vadu,' he}, 
corresponding to the Canarese ' avar-u,' exhibits the regular epicene 
plural ; whilst ' magadu,' a hu£band (in Tamil ' magan '), takes for its 
plural not ' magaru,' but ' magalu ;' and some nouns of this class add 
'lu' to the masculine or feminine singular suffix; e.g., ' alludu,' a son- 
in-law, makes in the plural not 'alluru,' nor even,'allulu,' but 'allundlu/ 
nasalised from 'allud'-Iu; and instead of 'yam,' they, ' vandlu,' is 
colloquially used, a word which is formed on the same plan as the 
low Madras Tamil ' avan-gal,' they, instead of ' avargal ' or the higher 
and purer ' avar.' 

Perhaps the only case in which the 'irrational' pluralising particle 
is used in the higher dialect of the Tamil instead of the 'rational' 
epicene, is that of 'makkal' (mag-gal'), manHnd, people. The singular 
of this word being ' mag-an,' the plural ought by rule to have been 
'mag-ar;' and it is interesting to notice that there is in the higher 
dialect a rarely used plural, 'magar,' in addition to the ordinary 
' makkal.' 

The Ku rational plural is 'nga,' which is properly an irrational one, 
but the pronouns and participial nouns form their rational plural by 
the addition of ' aru,' which is identical with the ' aru ' of the other 

The modern colloquial Tamil has been influenced in some degree by 
the usage of the Telugu, and has adopted the practice of adding the 
irrational plural to the rational one, thereby systematically forming a 
double plural ' ar-gal,' instead of the old rational plural ' ar :' e.g., 
' avan,' he, and ' aval,' she, properly take ' avar,' they, as their plural ; 
but the plural which is preferred by the modern Tamil, is the double 
one ' avar-gal.' So also the plural of the second person is properly 
' nir;' but the plural which is most commonly used as ' ning-gal' (from 
' jiim,' an older form of 'nir,' and 'gal'), which is a double plural 
like ' avar-gal.' Two forms of the epicene plural being thus placed at 
the disposal of the Tamil people (the classical 'nir' and 'avar,' and 
the colloquial ' ningrgal ' and ' avar-gal '), they have converted the 

190 THE NOUN. 

former, in colloquial usage and in prose compositions, into an honorific 
singular, and the same practice has been adopted in Canarese. This 
usage, though universally prevalent now, was almost unknown to the 
poets. I have not observed in the poets, or in any of the old inscrip- 
tions in my possession, any instance of the use of the epicene plural as 
an honorific singular, except in connection with the names and titles of 
the divinities, whether those names and titles are applied to the gods 
themselves, or are conferred honorifically upon kings. Even in those 
cases, however, the corresponding pronoun follows the ordinary rule, 
and is very rarely honorific. In modern Telugu a double plural, 
similar to that of the Tamil, has gained a footing ; e.g., ' varu-Iu ' (for 
' var-u '), they, and ' miru-lu ' (for ' mir-u'), you. 

The Telugu, as has been observed, pluralises masculine and 
feminine substantive nouns by the addition, not «f the rational, but 
of the neuter or irrational sign of plurality : by a similar inversion 
of idiom, the G6nd sometimes uses the rational plural to pluralise 
neuter nouns; e.g., 'kawalor,' crows. Such usages, however, are 
evidently exceptions to the general and more distinctively Dravidian 
rule, according to which the neuter pluralising particle is restricted to 
neuter nouns, and the epicene particle to rational or personal nouns, 
i.e., masculines and feminines. 

We shall now consider in detail the pluralising particles them- 

1. Epicene Plurailsing Particle. — This particle is virtually one 
and the same in all the dialects, and the different forms which it has 
taken are owing merely to euphonic peculiarities. In Tamil nouns, 
pronouns, and verbs, it assumes the forms of 'ar,' 'ar;' '6r;' 'ir,' 
' ir :' in Canarese and Telugu, ' aru,' ' uru ; ' are,' ' eru ;* ' ri,' ' ru :' in 
Ku, 'aru;' in Gond, '6r.' The Brahui also forms the second person 
plural of its verb in ' ere,' ' ure,' &c., the third person in ' ur ' or 
'ar.' I regard 'ar' (not simply 'r') as probably the primitive shape 
of this pluralising particle, from which the other forms have been 
derived by euphonic mutation. It is true that ' ni,' thou, forms its 
plural in modern Tamil by simply adding 'r;' but this does not prove 
that ' r ' alone was the primitive form of the epicene plural, for an 
older form of ' nir,' you, is 'ni-(v)-ir' or 'ni-(y)-ir,' from which 'nir' 
has evidently been derived. It might naturally be supposed that in 
this case ' ir ' is used instead of ' ar,' through the attraction of the 
preceding long vowel, ' i ;' but we also find ' ir ' used as a pluralising 
particle in 'magalir,' High Tam., women, and also a longer form, 'ir,' 
in ' magalir :' consequently ' ir ' has acquired a position of its own in 


the language, as well as 'ar.' All that we can certainly conclude 
respecting the original shape of this particle is that the final 'r,' 
which is plainly essential, was preceded by a vowel, and that that 
vowel was probably ' a.' 

The Canarese rational plural suffix ' andar,' e.g., ' avandar-u,' 
(for 'avar-u'), 'illi,^ and 'ivandar-u' (for 'ivar-u'), 'hi,' seems to 
be identical with the Tel. indefinite plural 'andar-u, indar-u,' so 
many, the final ' ar ' of which is the ordinary suffix of the epicene 

The Tamil and MalayMam have another particle of plurality 
which is applicable to rational beings, viz., ' mar,' or in High Tamil 
' mar,' which has a considerable resemblance to ' ar,' and is probably 
allied to it. ' mar ' is used to pluralise rational nouns substantive 
alone, and is not like ' ar ' used by pronouns and verbs. It is suf- 
fixed to the noun which it qualifies in a different manner also from 
'ar;' for whilst *ar' is substituted for the masculine and feminine 
suffixes of the singular, not added to them, ' mar ' is generally added 
to the singular suffix by idiomatic writers and speakers. Thus in 
Tamil, ' pnrushan ' (a Sans, derivative), a man, a husband, when 
pluralised by suffixing 'ar' becomes 'purushar;' but if 'm4r' is 
used instead of ' ar,' it is not substituted for ' an ' the masculine 
singular suffix, but appended to it, e.g.. ' purushan-mar,' not ' purusha- 
mar.' 'Mar,' it is true, is sometimes added to 'ar,' e.g., 'purushar- 
mar;' but this is considered unidiomatical. 'Mar' is also sometimes 
used as an isolated particle of plurality in a peculiarly Scythian 
manner, e.g., ' tay - tagappan - mar,' Tam., mothers and fathers, 
parents; in which both mother and father are in the singular, and 
'mar' is separately appended to pluralise both. 

Probably there was originally no difference in signification between 
'ar' and 'mar,' whatever difference there may have been in their 
origin. In modern Tamil, ' mar ' is suffixed to nouns signifying 
parents, priests, kings, &c., as a plural of honour, like the Hungarian 
' mek ;' but it may be suffixed, if necessary, to any class of nouns 
denoting rational beings. In Malayalam it is used with a wider range 
of application than in Tamil, and in cases in which an honorific 
meaning cannot be intended, e.g., ' kalian-mar,' thieves. The antiquity 
of many of the forms of the Malayala grammar, favours the supposi- 
tion that in ancient Tamil, which was probably identical with ancient 
Malayalam, ' mar ' may generally have been used instead of ' ar,' as 
the ordinary pluralising particle of ' high caste ' nouns. A few traces 
of this use of the particle ' mar ' survive in classical Tamil ; ' mfir,' 
which is evidently equivalent to ' mar,' and probably older, being 

192 THE NOUN. 

sometimes used in poetry instead of ' ar,' e.g., ' en-mar ' (from ' en,' to 
count), accountants. 

We have now to inquire whether ' ar ' and ' mar,' the Dravidian 
plurals of rationality, sustain any relation to the plural terminations, 
or pluralising suffixes, of other languages. 

It might at first sight be supposed that the formation of the plural 
by the addition of ' r ' to the singular which characterises some of the 
Teutonic tongues, is analogous to the use of ' r ' or ' ar ' in the Dravi- 
dian languages. In the Icelandic the most common plural is that 
which terminates in ' r '. — sometimes the consonant ' r ' alone, some- 
times the syllables 'ar,' 'ir,' ' ur,' e.g., 'konungur,' hings. A relic 
of this plural may be traced in the vulgar English ' childer,' for 
' children.' The same plural appears in the Old Latin termination 
of the masculine plural in ' or ' which is found in the Eugubian 
tables, e.g., ' subator ' for ' subacti,' and ' screhitor ' for ' script!.' 

Compare also ' mas,' the termination of the first person plural of 
verbs in Sanscrit, with ' mar,' the corresponding termination in Irish, 
answering to the Doric ^es and the ordinary Greek fiev. 

In these cases, however, the resemblance to the Dravidian plural 
' ar ' is rather apparent than real ; for the final ' r ' of these forms 
has been hardened from an older 's;' whilst there is no evidence 
of the existence of a tendency in the Dravidian languages to harden 
' s ' into ' r,' and therefore nothing to warrant the supposition that 
the Dravidian epicene 'ar' has been derived from, or is connected 
with, the Sanscrit masculine-feminine ' as.' 

It should also be noted that the Irish 'mar' is a compound of 
two forms, ' ma,' the repres^tative of the singular of the personal 
pronoun '/,' and 'r,' the hardened equivalent of the plural suffix 's;' 
and that, therefore, it has no real resemblance to the Dravidian 
' mar,' which is entirely and exclusively a plural suffix of the third 

There is more probability of the Dravidian plural suffixes being 
related to the pluralising particles of some of the Scythian languages. 
The Turkish plural suffix, which is inserted, as in the Dravidian 
languages, between the crude noun and each of the case terminations, 
is 'lar' or 'ler,' e.g., 'an-lar,' they. Dr. Logan says, but on what 
authority does not appear, that ' nar ' is a plural suffix in K61. Mon- 
golian nouns which end with a vowel, are pluralised by the addition 
of ' nar ' or ' ner,' a particle which is evidently related to, or identical 
with, the Turkish ' lar ' or ' ler :' and the resemblance of this Mongol 
suffix 'nar' to the Dravidian 'mar,' both in the final 'ar' and in 
the nasal prefix is remarkable. It is well known that ' m ' evinces a 


tendency to be softened into ' n ' (witness the change of the Sanscrit 
'mama,' my, into 'raana' in Zend); and in this seems not 
improbable that the Dravidian ' mar ' may be allied to, or even the 
origin of, the High Asian -nar.' Again, in the Scythian tongues ' n ' 
is often elided or dropped, and the same peculiarity characterises the 
Dravidian languages. Thus, 'nu,' the conjunctive particle of the 
Telugu, becomes 'u' in Canarese. In this manner the Dravidian 
plural suffix ' ar,' may have been softened from ' mar ; and if both 
forms continued to be occasionally used, ' mar,' the older of the two, 
would naturally and regularly acquire an honorific signification. The 
Tamil 'ileinjar' (' ilei-njar'), young people, a plural appellative noun, 
formed from 'ilei,' youth, exhibits a form of pluralisation which at 
first sight seems very closely to resemble the Mongolian ' nar.' Nay, 
' nar ' is actually used in this very instance instead of ' iijar ' by some 
of the poets, and it is certain that 'Sj ' and 'n' often change places. 
Unfortunately we find this ' nj ' or ' n ' in the singular, as well as 
the plural; which proves it to have been inserted merely for euphony 
In order to prevent hiatus, and therefore ' ileinjar ' must be re-divided, 
and represented not as ' ilei-njar,' but as ' ilei-(nj)-ar ' or ' ilei-(n)-ar,' 
equivalent to ' ilei-(y)-ar.' 

Probably the same explanation should be given of ' manar,' the 
epicene plural termination of the future tense in some of the poets, 
especially Tolkappiyan, the most ancient Tamil grammarian; e.g., 
' enmanar,' they will say, instead of the more common ' enbar.' ' m ' 
is in this connection used as the sign of futurity, and is equivalent 
to ' b,' and ' enmar' is equivalent to ' enman&r.' 

The insertion of an euphonic ' n ' between the sign of tense and 
the pronominal suffix is exceedingly common in the present and 
preterite; e.g., 'nadanda-(n)-em' (for 'nadand'-em'), we walked; and if 
so, there seems no reason why the same ' n' should not make its 
appearance in the future also, converting 'enmar' (for 'enba-ar' or 
' enbar ') into ' enma-(n)-ar.' If this explanation does not suffice, 
'n&r' must, in this instance, he regarded as the equivalent of 'mar,' 
and therefore as directly allied to ' nar,' the Mongolian plural suffix. 
It is deserving of notice that the Turkish, besides its ordinary plural 
'lar' or ' ler,' uses 'z' as a plural suffix of the personal pronouns, 
as may be observed in ' biz,' we, and ' siz,' you; and that the Turkish 
terminal ' z ' corresponds to the ' r ' of some other Scythian languages. 
Thus ' yaz,' Turkish, summer, is in Magyar ' yar ' or ' nyar ' (com- 
pare the Tamil 'nyayiB,' the sun). It would almost appear, therefore, 
that the Turkisk suffix of plurality has undergone a process of change 
and comminution which is similar to that of the Tamil, and that the 

194 THE NOUN. 

Turkish ' z * and the Tamil ' r ' are remotely connected, as the last 
remaining representatives or relics of ' mar,' ' fiar,' and 'lar.' 

2. Pluralising Particles of the Neuter. — There are two neuter 
pluralising particles used by the Dravidian languages. — 

(1.) The neuter plural suffix 'gal,' with its varieties. — It has 
already been noticed that 'gal' is occasionally but improperly used 
in Tamil and Canarese as the plural suffix of 'rational' nouns and 
pronouns ; and that the corresponding Telugu ' lu ' is still more 
systematically used in this manner. Nevertheless, I have no doubt 
that it was originally and is essentially a suffix of the neuter 

This suffix is in both dialects of the Tamil 'gal,' e.g., ' kei-gal,' 
hands, with only such changes as are required by Tamilian rules of 
euphony. In accordance with one of those rules, when 'g,' the initial 
consonant of ' gal,' is doubled, or preceded without an intermediate 
vowel by another consonant, 'gal' is regularly hardened into 'kal' 
or 'kkal.' Thus ' kal-gal,' stones, is changed b^ rule into 'kaR-kal.' 
' gal ' is occasionally lengthened in Tamil poetry into ' gM.' In 
Malayalam this particle is generally ' kal ' or ' kkal,' but sometimes 
the initial ' k ' coalesces with a preceding nasal and becomes ' ng,' 
e.g., 'ning-ngal,' you, instead of 'nim-kal,' -in Tamil 'ning-gal.' In 
rnodern Canarese we have ' gal-u,' in ancient 'gal,' as in Tamil. The 
three southern idioms are in perfect agreement with respect to this par- 
ticle, but when we advance further north we shall find its shape con- 
siderably modified. 

In Telugu, the corresponding neuter plural suffix is ' lu,' of which 
the '1' answers, as is usual in Telugu, to the cerebral '1' of the 
other dialects : ' 1-u,' therefore, accords with the final syllable of the 
Canarese ' gal-u ' The only real difference between the Telugu and 
the Tamil-Canarese consists in the omission by the former of the initial 
consonant ' k ' or ' g.' Traces, however, exist in Telugu, of the use of 
a vowel before 'lu.' Thus, in 'guRBalu,' horses, the long 'a' is 
derived from the combination of the short final 'a' of the inflexional 
base ' guRHa ' and a vowel, evidently ' a,' which must have preceded 
'lu.' We thus arrive at 'al-u,' as the primitive form of the Telugu 
plural ; and it is obvious that 'al-u' could easily have been softened 
from 'gal-u.' Conjecture, however, is scarcely needed, for in some 
nouns ending in ' n-u,' of which the Tamil equivalents end in ' m,' 
the old Dravidian pluralising particle in ' gal,' is exhibited in Telugu 
almost as distinctly as in Tamil. Thus, 'kolan-u,' a tank (Tamil 
'kulam')j takes as its plural ' kolan-kul-u ' (Tamil 'kulang-gal '), and 


'gon-u,' the name of a species of tree, forma its plural in 'gon-gul-u.' 
When 'kul-u' and 'gul-u' are compared with the TamiUCanarese 
forms 'kal,' 'gal,' and 'gal-u,' it is obvious that they are not only- 
equivalent but identical. 

An illustration of the manner in which the Telugu 'lu' has been 
softened from ' gal-u,' may be taken also from colloquial Tamil, in 
which 'avar-gal,' they,iB commonly pronounced 'aval.' 'k' or 'g' 
IS dropped or elided in a similar maimer in many languages of the 
Scythian family. 

The Tulu, though locally remote from the Telugu, follows its 
example in many points, a,nd amongst others in this. It rejects the 
'k' or 'g' of the plural, and uses merely ' lu ' or '1,' like the 
Telugu j rarely 'kula.' 

The same form of the pluralising particle appears in the languages 
of some of the tribes of the north-eastern frontier — languages which 
possibly forpi a link of connection between the Dravidian and the 
Tibetan families. In the. Miri or Abor-Miri dialect, ' n6,' thou, forms 
its plural in ' nolu, you ; and in the Dhinial, ' na,' titou, is pluralised 
into ' nyel,' you. The pronoun of the Mikir is pluralised by adding 
- li,' e g., ' na-li,' you, whilst substantives have no plural form. In the 
Dhimal, substantive-nonns are pluralised by the addition of ' galai,' 
which is possibly the origin of the pronominal plural ' 1,' though this 
particle or word, ' galai,' is not compounded with, or agglutinated to, 
the noun, but placed after it separately. Though it is used as a sepa- 
rate word it does not seem to retain any signification of its own inde- 
pendent of its use as a post-position. The resemblance of ' galai ' to 
the Tamil-Canarese 'gal' or 'galu,' is distinct and remarkable. The 
pluralising particle of the Naga also is ' khala.' 

It is not an uncommon occurrence to find one portion of a much 
used prefix or suffix in one language or dialect of a family, and 
another portion of it in another member of the same family. Seeing, 
therefore, that the Telugu has adopted the latter portion of the par- 
ticle 'kal,' 'gal,' or ' gain,' and omitted the initial ' ka,' ' ga,' or 'k,' 
we may expect to find this ' k ' used as a pluralising particle in some 
other Dravidian dialect, aud the final 'lu' or '1' omitted. Accord- 
ingly in Gond we find that the plural neuter is commonly formed by 
the addition of ' k ' alone, e.g., ' nai,' a dog, ' naik,' dogs (compare 
Tamil 'naykal,' pronounced ' nay gal.') The S«oni-G6nd forms its 
plural by adding 'nk,' e.g., 'neli,' afield, 'n&lok,' fields. The Ku 
dialect uses ' nga,' and also ' ska,' of all which forms ' k ' or ' g ' con- 
stitutes the basis. 

'k' is sometimes found to interchange with 't,' especially in the 

o 2 

196 THE NOUN. 

languages of High Asia. This interchange appears also in the Gond 
pluralising particle ; for whilst 'k' is the particle in general use, the 
pronouns of the first and second persons form their plurals, or double 
plurals, by the addition of 't' to the nominative, e.g., ' amat,' we, 
'imat,' you. The same interchange between 'k' and 't' appears in 
the Brahui. Though a separate word is usually employed by the 
Brahui to denote plurality, a suffix in ' k ' is also sometimes used ; but 
this ' k * is found only in the nominative plural, and is replaced by 
' t ' in the oblique cases. 

When we turn to the grammatical forms of the Finnish family of 
languages, we find some tolerably distinct analogies to this Dr&vidian 
plural suffix. Compare with the Dr&vidian forms noticed above the 
Magyar plural in ' k ' or ' ak ;' the Lappish in ' k,' ' ch,' or ' h ;' also 
the 't' by which 'k' is replaced in almost all the other dialects of 
the Finnish family: and observe the re-appearance of the sound of '1' 
in the Ostiak plural suffix ' tl.' In Ostiak the dual suffi^f is 'kan' or 
'gan;' in Samoi'ed-Ostiak 'ga' or ' ka ;' in Kamass 'gai.' Castren 
supposes these suffixes to be derived from the conjunctive particle 'ka' 
or 'ki,' also; but their resemblance to the Dravidian signs of plurality 
renders this derivation doubtful. Even the Armenian forms its plural 
in'k/g.^f., ' tn,' thou, 'tuk,' you; 'sirera,' I low, ' siremk,' we fow. 
In the Turkish also, 'k' is the sign of plurality in some forms of the 
first person plural of the verb, e.g., ' idum,' I was, ' iduk,' we were. 
' t,' on the other hand, is the sign of the plural in Mongolian, and in 
the Calmuck is softened into 'd.' Even in Zend, though a language ot 
a diflferent family, there is a neuter plural in 't.' Thus, for 'imani,' 
Sans., these things, the Zend has ' imat.' 

In those instances of the interchange of ' t ' and ' k,' in which it 
can be ascertained with tolerable clearness which consonant was the 
one originally used and which was the corruption, ' t' appears to be 
older than ' k,' Thus the Doric ' t^i-o? ' is in better accordance with 
related words, and therefore probably older, than the jEolian ' k^i/os,' 
the origin of ' e-iceivo9.' The Semitic pronoun or pronominal fragment 
' ta,' thou (preserved in ' atta ' and ' anta '), is also, I doubt not, a 
more accurate and older form than the equiyalent or auxiliary suffix 
'ka.' In several of the Polynesian dialects, 'k' is found instead 
of an undoubtedly earlier Sanscrit or Pre-Sanscrit ' t.' If, in 
accordance with these precedents, where ' k ' and ' t ' are found 
to be interchanged, ' t ' is to be regarded as older than ' k,' it 
would follow that ' kal,' the Dravidian plural suffix now under consi- 
deration, may originally have been-'tal.' I cannot think that the 
Dravidian 'gal ' has been derived, as Dr. Stevenson supposes, from the 


Sanscrit 'sakala' (in Tamil 'sagala'), all. ' kal,' the base of 
' sa-kala,' Las been connected wiih ' oVos- j' but the root signifying all, 
which the Dravidians have preferred to retain, viz., 'ell,' is connected, 
not with ' l,\; whole, the Hebrew 'kol,' &c., but with the Saxon 'eal,' 
English all. This being the case, it is unlikely that they would have 
preserved the other root also. The Dravidian ' tal-a ' or ' dal-a,' a 
host, a crowd, would give a good meaning ; but even this derivation of 
' kal' or 'tal,' is altogether destitute of evidence. The supposititious 
Dravidian 'tal' may be compared with the Ostiak plural suffix 'tl ;' 
but in the absence of evidence it is useless to proceed with conjectural 

The New Persian neuter plural, or plural of inanimate objects, 
which corresponds generally to the Dravidian neuter plural, is ' h&,' a 
form which Bopp derives with much probability from the Zend. It 
may here be mentioned, though I do not attach any importance to a 
resemblance which is certainly accidental, that the Tamil plural 'gal' 
sometimes becomes ' ha ' in the pronunciation of the peasantry, 
e.g., ' irukkiaargal,' they are, is vulgarly pronounced ' irukkinaha.' 

(2.) Neuter Plural Sufix in 'a.' — In addition to the neuter plural 
in ' gal,' with its varieties, we find in nearly all the Dravidian lan- 
guages a neuter plural in short ' a,' or traces of the use of it at some 
former period. 

'gal,' though a neuter plural suffix, is occasionally used, especially 
in the modern dialects, as the plural suffix of rationals ; but in those 
dialects in which ' a' is used, its use is invariably restricted to neuters, 
and it seems therefore to be a more essentially neuter form than ' gal ' 

We shall first examine the traces of the existence and use of this 
suffix which are contained in the Tamil. 

' gal ' is invariably used in Tamil as the plural suffix of uncom- 
pouuded neuter nouns ; but ' a ' is preferred in the classical dialect for 
pluralising neuter compounds, that is, appellative nouns, or those which 
are compounded of a base and a suffix of gender, together with demon- 
stmtive pronouns, pronominal adjectives, aud participial nouns. Even 
in the ordinary dialect, 'a' is generally used as the suffix of the 
n«uter plural in the conjugation of verbs. 

The second line in one of the distichs of Tjruvalluvar's ' KuRal,' 
contains two instances of the use of ' a ' as a neuter plural of appella- 
tive nouns ; e.g., ' agula nira pina,' vain shows (are all) oilier (things'). 
The first of these three words is used adjectivally ; and in that case 
the final ' a ' is merely that which remains of the neuter termination 

198 THE NOUN. 

' am,' after the regular rejection of ' m / but the next two words 
• nira' and ' pina,' are undoubted instances of the use of ' a ' as a 
suffix of the neuter plural of appellatives. The much used Tamil 
words ' pala,' several, or many {things), and ' sila,' some, or some 
{things) (from ' pal ' and ' sil '), though commonly considered as adjec- 
tives, are in reality neuter plurals ; e.g., ' pini pala,' diseases (are) 
iMtny ; ' pala-(v)-in pal,' the neuter plural gender, literally, the gender 
of the many {things). The use of these words adjectivally, and with 
the signification, not of the collective, but of the distributive plural, 
has led some persons to overlook their origin and real meaning, bnt I 
have no doubt that they are plurals. So also ' alia,' nM, is properly a 
plural appellative : it is formed from the root ' al,' not, by the addi- 
tion of ' a,' the plural suffix, and literally means things that are not, 
and the singular that corresponds to 'alia' is 'al-du,' not, euphonically 
'andru,' literally a thing thai is not. In the higher dialect of the 
Tamil, all nouns of quality and relation may be, and very frequently 
are, converted into appellatives and pluralised by the addition of 'a;' 
e.g., 'ariya,' (KuRaP, things that are difficult, 'difficilia.^ We have some 
instances in High Tamil of the use of ' a ' as the plural suffix even of 
substantive nouns, e.g., 'pornla,' substances, things that are real, realities 
(from the singular 'porul,' a thing, a substance) ; also 'porulana' and 
' porulavei,' — with the addition of ' ana ' and ' avei ' (for ' ava '), the 
plural neuters of the demonstrative pronouns. 

The neuter plural of the third person of the Tamil verb, a form 
which is used occasionally in ordinary prose as well as in the classical 
dialect, ends in ' ana ;' e.g., ' irukkindrana,' they (neut.) are. ' ana ' 
is undoubtedly identical with ' ava ' (now ' avei '), the neuter plural 
of the demonstrative pronoun, and is probably an older form than 
' ava.' It is derived from the demonstrative base ' a,' with the addi- 
tion of ' a ' the neuter plural suffix, and an euphonic consonant (' n ' 
or 'v') to prevent hiatus ; e.g., 'a-(n)-a' or ' a-(v)-a.' Sometimes in 
classical Tamil this ' a,' the sign of the neuter plural, is added directly 
to the temporal suffix of the verb, without the addition of the demon- 
strative base of the pronoun, e.g., ' minda,' they (neut.) returned, 
instead of ' mindana.' This final ' a ' is evidently a sign of the neuter 
plural and of that alone. 

Possibly we should also regard as a sign of the neuter plural, the 
final 'a' of the high Tamil possessive adjectives ' ena,' my {things), 
ntea; 'nama,' our {things), nostra. The final 'a' of 'ena' would, on 
this supposition, be not only equivalent to the final ' a ' of the Latin 
' mea,' but really identical with it. These possessive adjectives are 
regarded by Tamil grammarians as genitives ; and it will be shown 


hereafter that 'a' is undoubtedly one of the forms of the genitive in 
the Dravidian languages. The real nature of ' ena ' and ' nama ' 
will be discussed when the genitive case-terminations are inquired 
into. It should be stated, however, under this head, that Tamil 
grammarians admit that ' ena ' and ' nama,' though, as they say, 
genitives, must be followed by nouns in the neuter plural; e.g., 'ena 
keigal,' my hands; and this, so far as it goes, constitutes the principal 
argument in favour of regarding the final ' a ' of these words, not as 
a genitive, but as the ordinary neuter plural suffix of the high dialect. 

In Malayalam, the oldest daughter of the Tamil and a faithful 
preserver of many old forms, the neuter plurals of the demonstrative 
pronouns are 'ava,' those {things), and 'iva,' these (things'). The 
existence, therefore, in Tamil and Malayalam of a neuter plural in 
short ' a,' answering to a neuter singular in 'd,' is clearly established. 

The Canarese appears to have originally agreed with the Tamil in 
all the particulars and instances mentioned above: but the neuter 
plural in 'a' is now generally hidden in that dialect by the addition 
of a formative or euphonic syllable. Thus 'pina,' Tarn., other {things), 
is in Canarese 'peravu,' of which the final syllable 'vu' is undoubtedly 
an euphonic addition — an addition of which the Canarese is very fond. 
The neuter plural of the demonstrative pronoun is not ' ava ' in 
Canarese, as it is in Malayalam, and as it must have been in primitive 
Tamil, but ' avn.' Though, however, the nominative is ' avu,' all the 
oblique cases in the ancient Canarese reject the final ' u ' before 
receiving the case suffixes, and must have been formed from the base 
of an older 'ava;' e.g., 'avara' {','), of those things. 

The Telugu plural neuters of the demonstratives are ' avi,' those, 
' ivi,' these, answering to the singular neuters 'adi' and 'idi.' The 
oblique forms of the same demonstratives, to which the case-termina- 
tions are suflixed, are ' va ' remote, and ' vi ' proximate, which are 
evidently formed (by that process of displacement which is peculiar to 
the Telugu) from the primitive bases 'ava' and 'iva,' like 'varu' 
from'avaru,' and 'viru' from ' ivaru.' 

The neuter plural of the Telugu verb is formed by suffixing ' avi ' 
or 'vi.' 

In Gond the singular demonstratives are 'ad' and 'id;' the cor- 
responding plurals ' av ' and ' iv.' 

If the Telugu and the Gond were the only extant dialects of the 
Dravidian family, we should naturally conclude that as ' d ' is the 
sign of the neuter singular, so ' v ' is the sign of the neuter plural. 
When the other extant dialects, however (the Tamil, Malay&lam, and 
Canarese), are examined, we perceive that this ' v ' is not a sign 



of plurality, nor a sign of anything but of abhorrence of hiatus; and 
that it is merely an euphonic link between the preceding and succeed- 
ing vowels. The Telugu and Gond must therefore yield to the over- 
powering weight of evidence which is adducible in proof of this point 
from their sister dialects. Nor is there anything opposed to analogy 
in the supposition that the Telugu has changed the 'a,' which was the 
sign of the neuter plural of its pronouns and verbs, into ' i,' and then 
adopted to represent the idea of plurality a consonant which was used 
originally mereh' to prevent hiatus. In the case of 'avaru,' they, 'ilU,' 
converted into ' varu,' and ' ivaru,' they, 'hi,' converted into 'viru,' ' v,' 
though only euphonic in its origin, has become an initial and apparently 
a I'adical; and the old initial and essentially demonstrative vowels 'a' 
and 'i,' have been thrust into a secondary place. The conversion, 
therefore, of 'ava ' into ' va,' and of ' iva' into ' vi,' the oblique forms 
of the Telugu plural demonstratives, is directly in accordance with 
this analogy; and thus the Telugu cannot be considered as opposed to 
the concurrent testimony of the other dialects, which is to the effect 
that ' V ' is merely euphonic, and that ' a ' is the sign of the neuter 
plural of the demonstrative pronouns. 

It may here be remarked as a curious irregularity, that in Tulu 
' V ' has become the sign of the neuter singular instead of ' d,' e.ff., 
'avu,' it. The Tulu 'atu,' corresponding to the Tamil-Canarese 'adu,' 
which should have been used to signify it, has come to be used for yes. 

If short ' a ' be, as it has been shown to be, a sign of the neuter 
plural which is inherent in the Dravidian languages, and most used by 
the oldest dialects, we have now to inquire into the relationship which 
it evidently sustains to the neuter plural suffix of some of the Indo- 
European languages. I know of no neuter plural in any of the 
Scythian tongues with which it can be compared; and we appear to 
be obliged to attribute to it, as well as to ' d,' the suffix of the neuter 
singular, an origin which is allied to that of the corresponding Indo- 
European forms. In the use of ' a ' as a neuter plural suffix, it is 
evident that the Dravidian family has not imitated, or been influenced 
by, the Sanscrit, and that it was not through the medium of the 
Sanscrit that Indo-European influences made their way into this 
department of the Dravidian languages; for the Dravidian neuter 
plural ' a,' differs widely from the Sanscrit neuter plural ' ani,' and it 
is as certainly unconnected with the masculine-feminine plural 'as' 
(softened in modern Sanscrit into 'ah'). It is with the short 'a' 
which constitutes the neuter plural of the Zend, the Latin, and the 
Gothic, that the Dravidian neuter plural 'a' appears to be allied. 
Compare also the Old Persian neuter plural ' a.' 


Part II.— Formation of Cases. 

Principles ofOase-Formaiion. — The Indo-European and the Scythian 
families of tongues originally agreed in the principle of expressing the 
reciprocal relations of nouns by means of post-positions or auxiliary 
words. The difference between those families with respect to this 
point consists chiefly in the degree of faithfulness with which they 
have retained this principle. 

In the Scythian tongues, post-positions or appended auxiliary 
words have rigidly held fast their individuality and separate existence. 
In the Indo-European tongues, on the contrary, the old post-positions 
or suffixes have been welded into combination with the roots to which 
they were appended, and converted into mere technical case-signs or 
inflexional terminations; whilst in the later corruptions to which those 
languages have been subjected, most of the case-terminations have 
been abandoned altogether, and prepositions, as in the Semitic tongues, 
have generally come to be employed instead of the older case-signs. 
It cannot reasonably be doubted, that the case-terminations of the 
primitive dialects of the Indo-European family were originally post- 
positions, which were added on to the root to express relation, and at 
length blended into an inseparable union with it, through that love of 
composition by which every member of the family was characterised. 
In most instances the root and the original signification of those post- 
positions are now unknown, or they are ascertained with difficulty by 
means of analogy and comparison. 

Both in Greek and in Latin some post-positions are used in a manner 
which illustrates the conversion of a portion of this class of words into 
case-endings; e.ff., in Latin 'nobiscum,' and in Greek such words as 
'aiypdOi,' in the country; 'aXaSe,' to the sea; and ^ ovpavodei/,'' from heaven. 
The post-positional auxiliary words which are used in those instances 
are appended to their bases in a truly Scythian manner. If there is 
any difference between them and the usage of the Scythian post- 
positions, it consists in this — that in the Scythian tongues, ' 0i,' ' Se,' 
' 0ev,' would be appended to the nominative ; whereas in Greek, they 
are suffixed either to a crude form of the noun differing from the 
nominative or to the accusative; and also, that in most of the languages 
of the Scythian group they would be written as separate words. 

One of the Greek post-positions quoted above, ' Se,' signifying 
direction to a place, has been supposed to be allied to 'de,' the dative 
of the Manohu ; and the Greek ' Oev has been conjectured to be allied 
to the Tartar ablative 'din' or 'den.' I am doubtful whether any 

202 THE NOUN. 

such connexion can be established ; but in the manner in which the 
particles are appended to their bases a distinct analogy may be 

On turning our attention to the Dravidian languages, we find that 
the principle on which they have proceeded in the formation of cases 
is distinctively Scythian. All case-relations are expressed by means 
of post-positions, or post-positional suffixes. Most of the post-positions 
of the Telugu are, in reality, separate words; and in all the Dravidian 
dialects most of the post-positions retain traces of their original 
character as auxiliary nouns. Several case-signs, especially in the 
more cultivated dialects, have lost the faculty of separate existence, 
together with their original signification, und can only be treated now 
as case-terminations; but there is no reason to doubt that they were 
all post-positional nouns originally. 

There is another point in which the Scythian principles of case- 
formation differ materially from the Indo-European. In the Indo- 
European family the case endings of the plural differ from those of 
the singular. It is true, that on comparing the case-terminations 
of all the members of the family, some traces have been discovered of 
the existence of an original connexion between the singular and the 
plural terminations of some of the cases; but in several instances, e.g., 
in the instrumental case, no such connexion between the singular and 
the pluial has been brought to light by any amount of investigation; 
and it may be stated as a general rule, that the languages of this 
family appear to have acted from the beginning upon the principle of 
expressing the case-relations of the singular by one set of forms, and 
the case-relations of the plural by another set. On the other hand, 
in all the languages of the Scythian group, the same case-signs are 
employed both in the singular and in the plural, without alteration, or 
with only such alterations as euphony is sup])0sed to require. In the 
singular, the case post-positions are appended directly to the nomina- 
tive, which is identical with the base: in the plural they are appended, 
not to the nominative or base, but to the particle of pluralisation 
which has been suffixed to the base. In general, this is the only 
difference between the singular case-signs and those of the plural. 
The only exception of importance is, that in some of the Scythian 
tongues, especially in the languages of the Finnish family, the included 
vowel of the case-sign differs in the two numbers : it is generally 'a' 
in the singular and 'e' in the plural — a change which arises from the 
' law of harmonic sequences' by which those tongues are characterized, 
and which re-appears, but little modified, iu the Telugu. 

When the Dravidian languages are examined, it is found that they 


differ from those of the Indo-European family, and are in perfect 
accordance with the Scythian group, in their use of the same signs of 
case in the plural as in the singular. The only exception is the truly 
Scythian one which is apparent in the Telugu, in which the dative 
case -sign is either ' ki' or ' ku,' according to the nature of the vowel 
by which it is preceded or influenced ; in consequence of which it is 
generally 'ki' in the singular and ' ku' in the plural. 

This identity of the singular and plural case-endings in the 
languages of the Scythian group, including those of the Dravidian 
family, will be found greatly to facilitate the comparison of the case- 
signs of one language of either of those families with those of the 

Nuwher of Declensions. ^There is only one declension, properly so 
called, in the Dravidian languages, as in the Scythian family gene- 

Those varieties of inflexional increments which have been called 
' declensions' by some European scholars, especially with reference to 
the Canarese and Telugu, are considered by native grammarians to 
constitute but one declension ; and in truth they do constitute but one, 
for there is no difference between one so called declension and another 
with respect to the signs of case. Those signs are precisely the same 
in all : the difference which exists relates solely to suffixes of gender, 
or to the euphonic and inflexional increments which are added on to 
the bases before the addition of tbe Ciise-signs. 

On proceeding to analyse the case-formation of the Dr&vidian 
languages, we shall follow the order in which they have been arranged 
by Dravidian grammarians, which is the same as that of the Sanscrit. 
The imitation of the Sanscrit in this particular was certainly an error; 
for whilst in Sanscrit there are eight cases only, the number of cases 
in Tamil, Telugu, &c., is indefinite. Every post-position annexed to 
a noun constitutes, properly speaking, a new case; and therefore the 
number of such cases depends upon the requirements of the speaker 
and the different shades of meaning which he wishes to express. 
Notwithstanding this, the usage of Df&vidian grammarians has 
restricted the number of cases to eight; and though there are disad- 
vantages in this arrangement, it will conduce to perspicuity to adhere 
to the ordinary usage in the analysis, on which we are about to enters 
Tamil gramm.arians, in following the order of the Sanscrit cases, have 
also adopted or imitated the Sanscrit mode of denominating them — 
not by descriptive appellations, as 'dative' or 'ablative,' but by 
numbers. They have affixed a number to each case in the same order 

204 THE NOUN. 

as in Sanscrit, e.g., ' first case,' ' second case,' Ac, to ' eighth case.' 
Though a nominative, or ' first case,' stands at the head of the 
Dravidian list of cases, the only cases, properly so called, which are 
used by these languages are the oblique cases. Instead, therefore, of 
proceeding to examine the Dravidian nominative, the particular which 
now falls to be noticed is — 

The absence of Nominative Case-Terminations. — The Dravidian 
nominative singular is simply ' peyr-e, ' ' the noun itself^ — the inflex- 
ional base of the noun — without addition or alteration; but it neces- 
sarily includes the formative, if there be one. The nominative plural 
differs from the nominative singular only by the addition to it of the 
pluralising particle. 

There are three apparent exceptions to this rule, or instances in 
which the nominative might appear to have terminations peculiar to 
itself, which it is desirable here to inquire into. 

(1.) The neuter termination 'am' might at first sight be sup- 
posed to be a nominative case-sign. In Sanscrit ' am ' is the most 
common sign of the nominative neuter ; and in Tamil also, all nouns 
ending in ' am ' (in Telugu ' am-u '), whether Sanscrit derivatives or 
pure Dravidian words, are neuter abstracts. In Sanscrit the accusative 
of the neuter is identical with the nominative, but in the other cases 
'am' disappears. In Tamil, 'am' is discarded by all the oblique 
cases of the singular without exception : every case retains it in the 
plural, but in the singular it is used by the nominative alone. This 
comprises the sum total of the reasons for regarding ' am ' as a termi- 
nation of the nominative. On the other band, though 'am' disappears 
in Tamil from the oblique cases in the singular, it retains its place in 
every one of the cases in the plural. The particle of plurality is 
regularly suffixed to 'am,' and the signs of case are then suffixed to the 
particle of plurality ; which is a clear proof that, whatever ' am ' may 
be, it is not a mere termination or case-sign of the nominative. The 
Telugu regards 'am' or 'am-u,' as part of the inflexional base, 
retains it in each case of hoth numbers alike, and sufiixes to it in the 
singular the case-signs, in the plural the particle of plurality. 

The modern Canarese makes no use whatever of this termination 
' am,' in any case, or in either number. The ancient Canarese uses 
it, like the Tamil, in the nominative singular, but discards it, not only 
in the oblique cases of the singular, but in every case of the plural 
also. In that dialect a tree is ' maram,' as in Tamil, but the plural 
nominative, trees, is not 'maranggal' ('maram-gal'), but ' mara-gal.' 

Neuter nouns borrowed from the Sanscrit by the Tamil ordinarily 


retain (in the nominative alone, in the singular) the ' am ' of tho San- 
scrit nominative singular : this ' am' is used in every one of the cases 
in the plural ; so that even in Sanscrit derivatives, 'am' is regarded 
in Tamil, not as a case-sign, but as a portion of the inflexional base. 

Whatever be the origin of the Tamil ' am,' considered ' (as I 
think we must consider it) as a formative, it does not appear to 
have been borrowed from the Sanscrit, in which it is used for so 
different a purpose ; and I question whether it does not spring 
from a source altogether independent of the Sanscrit. At all 
events we find it added to many of the purest Dravidian roots, 
and by the addition of it many verbs of that class are converted 
into nouns. 

Thus ' kulam,' Tam., a tanh, is from ' kuli, to bathe ; and ' nil-am,' 
Tam., t/ie ground, is from ' nil,' to stand. See ' Derivative Nouns,' in 
the section on ' The Verb.' 

(2.) In Canarese the crude form of the personal pronouns is occa- 
sionally used instead of the nominative, e.g., 'na,' instead of 'nanu,' 
/, and ' ta,' instead of ' t&nu,' self; and hence it might be supposed 
that the final ' n ' or ' nu ' of those pronouns constitutes a nominative 
termination. This supposition, however, is inadmissible ; for in all 
the oblique cases, without exception, the final 'n' or 'nu' retains its 
place, and it is to it that the signs of case are added. Consequently 
it is evident that ' n ' is not a sign of the nominative, but a formative, 
which has been compounded with the inflexional base, or annexed to 
it, though it is capable of occasional separation from it. 

(3.) In all the Dravidian languages, the quantity of the included 
vowels of the personal pronouns in some of the oblique cases (and in 
Tamil-Canarese in all the oblique cases), difiers from the quantity of 
the same vowels in the nominative. In the nominative the vowel is 
invariably long, in the oblique cases generally short : e.g., in Canarese 
we find 'nanu,' /, ' nanna,' mi/; ' ninu,' thou, ' ninna,' iAy / ' tS.nn,' 
self, 'tanna,' of one's self. This is the only instance contained in these 
languages in which there is a difference between the nominative and 
the oblique cases of such a nature as almost to constitute the nomina- 
tive a case by itself. In this instance, however, the nominative is the 
true, unchanged, inflexional base, and the shortening of the quantity of 
the vowel in the oblique cases, prior to the addition of post-positions, 
has arisen from the euphonic tendencies of the language. The 
Telngu shortens the root-vowelin the accusative only. In Tamil the 
shortened form, without any inflexional addition, is often used as a 
possessive; e.g., 'nin,' thy, from the obsolete 'ntn,' thou — a usage 
which is in accordance with the ordinary Dravidian rule that the 

206 THE NOUN. 

inflected form of every noun, or the basis of the oblique cases, is to be 
regarded as of itself a possessive or adjective. 

Before proceeding to consider the oblique case-signs seriatim, it is 
necessary to enquire into the changes which the base sustains prior to 
receiving the suffixes. 

Inflexional base of the oblique cases. — In the majority of instances 
that form of the Dravidian noun which constitutes the crude base, and 
which is used as the nominative, constitutes also the inflexi<mal base. 
The nominative of this class of nouns and the base of the oblique 
cases are identical ; and the case-signs are added to the base or nomi- 
native without any link of connexion, whether inflexional or euphonic, 
beyond the ordinary ' v ' or ' y,' which is inserted to prevent hiatus 
between concurrent vowels. 

In a smaller number of instances (a number which constitutes, 
however, a very large minority), the base or nominative undergoes 
some alteration before receiving the addition of the terminations, or 
case-signs of the oblique cases. 

In the solitary instance of the Tamil-Canarese personal pronouns, 
as pointed out under the preceding head, the nominative sustains a cur- 
tailment (viz , by the shortening of the quantity of the included 
vowel) on becoming the inflexional base, or base of the oblique cases : 
but in all other instances the alteration which the base sustains consists 
in an augmentation, which is sometimes optional and sometimes neces- 
sary ; and it is to this augmented form (augmented by the addition of 
some inflexional increment) that the case-signs are attached. This 
Dravidian rule may be illustrated by the Hebrew. In Hebrew the 
personal and other suffixes of substantives and verbal nouns are 
attached, not to the base or nominative, but to the 'construct state,' 
i.e., the state in which a noun stands when it is qualified by a subse- 
quent noun. Just so in the Dravidian languages, in that large class of 
nouns in which the inflexional base of the noun, or its adjectival form, 
differs from the crude form or nominative, the signs of case are attached 
not to the crude, natural form of the noun, but to the altered, inflected 
form, viz., to that form which a Dravidian noun assumes when it 
qualifies or is qualified by a subsequent noun, or when it stands to such 
noun in the relation of an adjective. This inflected form of the noun 
is frequently used by itself, without the addition of any case-termina- 
tion, and when so used it has a possessive or adjectival force. Tamil 
grammarians hold that the ' inflexion ' is not a possessive, though they 
cannot but admit that for every purpose for which the possessive or 
genitive is used, the ' oblique case,' or inflected form of the noun may 


be used instead. They admit that it is used adjectivally: but it 
appears to me that its use as an adjectival formative is a secondary 
one, and that it was originally, like many other adjectival formatives 
in various languages, a sign of the genitive. Its use eventually as the 
inflexional basis of all the cases is in perfect harmony vpith this view 
of its origin, and testifies to the existence of a period in the history of 
the language when each of the post-positions of case was known and 
felt to be a substantive, which required to be united to its base by a 
sign of possession or adjectival relationship. 

At present, however, it is our object to seek out and arrange 
the various increments which are used for forming the inflexional base 
of the oblique cases, without reference to the other uses to which those 
increments are put. 

(1.) The inflexional increment 'in,' with its varieties. — The particle 
'in' constitutes the inflexion of certain classes of nouns in Tamil- 
Canarese; and the corresponding Telugu particles are ' ni ' and 'na.' 
All these particles are, I believe, virtually one and the same. The 
Tamil uses ' in ' in the singular and in the plural alike ; and its 
original signification has been forgotten to such a degree that it is now 
often used merely as an euphonic link of connexion between the base 
and its case-signs. For this reason its use both in Tamil and in Cana- 
rese is optional. In Telugu the corresponding particles are used only 
in the singular ; and where they are used, their use is not euphonic 
merely, but is intended to constitute the 'inflexion.' 

The Ku, which in this respect is more nearly allied than the 
Telugu is to the Tamil, and more regular, uses ' ni ' as the inflexion of 
the plural as well as of the singular of all classes of nouns. 

When ' in ' is used in Tamil as the inflexion of the neut. sing, 
demonstratives ' adu,' that, ' idu,' this, it is apt to be confounded with 
' an,' a termination which those pronouns often take, especially in the 
oblique cases, instead of ' u.' Instead of ' adu ' and ' idu,' we may 
say in Tamil ' adan ' and 'idan.' In the nominative these forms are 
very rarely used ; but the accusative, ' adan-ei,' is more common, and 
the dative, ' adanku ' ('adan-ku'), still more so. 'id-in-al,' through 
this, 'ad-in-al,' through that, and cases similarly formed, must therefore 
be carefully distinguished from ' idan-al ' and 'adan-al.' The 'an' 
of the latter is a formative, which is probably of the same origin as 
the ' am ' of many neuter nouns (that 'am ' being almost always con- 
vertible into 'an'); whereas 'in' is an inflexional increment, and 
was originally a case-sign of the genitive. 

The use of ' in ' as an inflexional increment effects no alteration 

208 THE NOUN. 

whatever in the meaning of the case-sign which is suffixed to it. 
Where it is not followed by a case-sign, it becomes of itself a mode of 
expressing the genitive ; but where a case-sign follows, it is merely 
euphonic, and its use is optional. Thus, we may say either ' keiyal ' 
('kei-(y)-ar), with the hand, or 'keiyin-al' ('kei-(y)-in-al) j either 
' kalal,' with the foot, ox 'kalinal' ('kal-in-al'). 

In the first of these instances ('kei-(y)-in-ar), 'y' is used to keep 
the initial vowel of 'in' pure, in accordance with the ordinary rule of 
the language ; from the use of which, in this instance, it is evident 
that ' in,' though merely euphonic in its present application, was in 
its origin something more than a mere euphonic expletive. 

'in' is not only attached as an infiexional increment to the crude 
base of Tamil nouns, but it is appended also to other inflexional incre- 
ments, viz., to 'attu,' and to the doubled final 'd' and 'r' of certain 
classes of nouns. Thus, by the addition of 'attu' to 'mara-m,' a tree. 
we form 'raarattu,' the inflexional base of the oblique cases, by sufiix- 
ing to which 'al,' the sign of the instrumental case, we form 'marattal,' 
hy a tree : but we may also attach 'in' to 'attu,' forming 'attin ' 
('att-in'), a doubled and euphonized increment, e.g., 'marattinal' 
('mara-attu-in-al'). As 'in' when standing alone, without the suflSx 
of any case-sign, has the force of the genitive, so also has the double 
increment, 'attin ;' e.g., 'marattin' signifies of a tree. In Tamil, 'in' 
is the 'inflexion' of all nouns, except those which end in 'am,' or in 
'd-u' or 'r-u:' in Canarese 'in' is much more rarely used than in 
Tamil ; but where it is used, its use is rather euphonic and optional, 
than inflexional, and it cannot be used by itself to express the force of 
the genitive. As in Tamil 'guruvil,' in a priest, a.'ai. 'guruvinil' are 
identical, so we may say in Canarese either 'guruvalli ' or ' guru- 

In Telugu the corresponding particles 'ni' and 'na' constitute the 
inflexion, or natural genitive of certain classes of nouns, and are also 
attached as inflexional increments to the base before sufiixing the case- 
signs; e.g., 'diniki' ('di-ni-ki'), to it, 'tammuniki' (' tammu-ni-ki '), to 
a younger hrotlier, 'guru-na-ku,' to a spiritual teacher. These incre- 
ments are attached only to the singular in Telugu : they constitute 
the singular ' inflexion,' i.e., the genitival or adjectival base of the 
noun, and are not merely euphonic j nor are they to be regarded as the 
inflexion of masculine nouns and pronouns alone, though they are 
chiefly used by them, for ' daniki,' to that, ' diniki,' to this, are 

The Telugu 'ni,' and the Tamil-Can arese 'in,' are doubtless iden- 
tical in origin. The change in the position of the vowel is in accord- 


ance with the change of ' il,' Tam., the negative particle, into ' M/ in 
Telugu, and of 'ul/ Tam., within, into '16/ in Telugu. It also cor- 
responds to the change of the position of the vowel which is apparent 
when 'in,' the Latin preposition, is compared with the corresponding 
Sanscrit preposition ' ni.' 

(2.) The inflexional incremenis 'ad' and ' ar.' — The particles ' ad' 
and ' ar,' are extensively used hy the Canarese as inflexional incre- 
ments. Their use exactly resembles that of 'in' in the same language, 
though each is restricted to a particular class of words, 'in' is used 
as an increment of the base solely in connexion with nouns which end 
in ' n,' e.g., ' guru,' a pried ; and ' ad ' and ' ar ' are used in connexion 
with neuter nouns and demonstratives, and with those alone. 

In the Canarese genitive case-endings, ' ara,' ' ada,' ' ina,' and ' a,' 
it will be seen that the real and only sign of the genitive is ' a,"* the 
final vowel of each; and therefore Dr. Stevenson has erred in comparing 
'ara' or 'ra' (properly 'ar-a' or 'ad-a') with the New Persian 'ra.' 
' ad ' and ' ar ' are prefixed to the signs of case, not by the genitive 
only, but by three cases besides, viz., by the accusative, the instru- 
mental, and the locative. Thus we may say not only 'idara' ('id-ar-a'), 
of this, and 'marada' ('mar-ad-a'), of a tree, but also 'idaralli' 
('id-ar-alli'), in this, and ' maradinda' ('mar-ad-inda'), hy a tree. 
Consequently ' ad ' and ' ar,' whatever be their origin, are not signs of 
case, in so far as their use is concerned, but are used merely as incre- 
ments of the base, or inflexional bonds of conjunction between the base 
and the case-signs, like ' in,' ' ni,' &c. Moreover, the Canarese difiers 
in its use of these increments from the Telugu and the Tamil in this, 
that it never suffixes them alone without the addition of the case-signs, 
and never gives them the signification of genitives or adjectival for- 

' ad ' and ' ar ' are not only related, but are, I believe, really 
identical. Both are increments of the neuter alone; and where the 
Canarese uses ' ar,' the Tnlu uses ' ad.' ' d ' and ' r ' are known to 
change places dialectically, as in the southern provinces of the Tamil 
countryl in which ' adu,' it, is pronounced ' aBu ;' and the Canarese 
increment ' ad' or ' ar ' is, I have no doubt, identical with that very 
word, viz., with the Tamil-Canarese demonstrative ' adu' or 'ad,' it. 

Though the Tamil has not regularly adopted the unchanged form 
of this demonstrative, ' adu,' as an inflexional increment of the base in 
the declension of nouns, it makes use of it occasionally in a manner 
which perfectly illustrates the origin of the Canarese use of it. 

In classical Tamil the neuter demonstrative may optionally be 

210 THE NOUN, 

added tOiany neater noun in the singular, not for the purpose of alter- 
ing the signification, but merely for the improvement of the euphony," 
and for the purpose of meeting the requirements of prosody. ' adu 
may thus be added even to the nominative; e.g.^ we may not only 
write 'pon,' gold, but also poetically 'ponnadu,' ^roM, or etymologically 
gold-ihat, i.e., that (which is) gold. It is much more common, however, 
and more in accordance also with the Canarese usage, to use ' adu ' in 
the oblique cases ; in which event it is inserted between the base and 
the case-sign, so as to become virtually (yet without losing its proper 
character) an inflexional increment; e.g., instead of 'ponnei,' the accu- 
sative of ' pon/ gold, we may write 'ponnadei' ('ponn-ad-ei'). 

I connect with the Canarese 'ar,' and therefore with 'ad,' and 
ultimately with the neuter demonstrative itself, the euphonic consonant 
'r,' which is used by the Telugu in certain instances to separate 
between a Sanscrit noun of quality used as an adjective and the 
feminine suffix ' Mu,' e.g., ' sundaru-r-alu,' a handsome woman. This 
would be quite in accordance with the peculiar Telugu usage of 
employing the neuter demonstrative singular iu place of the feminine 

(3.) The injleosional increment ' ti.' — In Telugu 'ti' or 'ti' is the 
most common and characteristic inflexional increment of neuter singular 
nouns, and it is used in Telugu, like the corresponding 'attu' in Tamil, 
not merely as an increment of the base, but as the 'inflexion,' with the 
signification of the possessive case or of that of an adjective, as the 
context may require. Two instances of the use of this increment will 
suffice out of the very numerous class of neuter nouns which form 
their singular inflexion by the addition of 'ti' or 'ti' (or rather by the 
substitution of that particle for their last syllable); e.g., ' vagili,' a door 
way, inflexion 'vagiti;' 'nudum,' the forehead, inflexion 'nuduti.' In 
these instances of the use of ' ti ' or ' ti,' the inflexional increment is 
substituted for the last syllable ; but it is certainly to be considered as 
an addition to the word — as a particle appended to it; and the blending 
of the increment with the base, instead of merely suffixing it, has 
arisen from the euphonic tendencies of the language. 

I have no doubt that the suffixed particle which constitutes the 
Telugu inflexional increment was originally ' ti,' not ' ti ' — the dental, 
not the cerebral. This would account for the circumstance that 't' 
alone follows words of which the final consonant is 'r' or '1;' for 
On the addition of the dental ' t ' to ' r ' or ' 1 ' both consonants dialec- 
tically coalesce and become ' t ; ' the hard cerebral being regarded as 
euphonically equivalent to the two soft letters. In no case in Telngii 


is there a double ' t ' in the inflexional increment. It is sometimes, 
however, euphonised by prefixing a nasal, e.g., ' tolli,' aninquity, forms 
its inflexion in ' tonti ' (instead of ' to\\i), or ' toUinti.' The dental 
'ti' is used instead of the cerebral 'ti/ as the inflexion of nouns 
ending in 'yu' after a pure vowel, e.^., 'vayu,' the mouth, inflexion 
' vati.' This circumstance proves that it was the dental ' ti ' which 
was originally used in all cases. The dental ' t ' on being appended 
to consonants changes naturally into the cerebral ; whereas the 
cerebral rarely, if ever, changes into the dental. 

If we now conclude, as I think we undoubtedly may, that the 
Telugu inflexion was originally ' ti,' not ' ti,' this inflexional increment 
may at once be connected with the Telugu neuter demonstrative, ' adi,' 
in the same manner as the Canarese ' ad,' and the Tamil ' attu,' are 
connected with the Tamil-Canarese neuter demonstrative ' adu.' This 
identification is confirmed by the circumstance that ' atti ' is some- 
times used for ' adi ' in Telugu, and ' itti ' for ' idi,' just as ' attu ' is 
sometimes used for ' adu * in colloquial Tamil. Though the identifi- 
cation of the inflexion and the neuter sing, demonstrative could not 
easily be established from the Telugu alone, or from any one dialect 
alone, yet the cumulative argument derived from a comparison of all 
the dialects has irresistible force. An important link of evidence is 
furnished by the inflexion which follows. — 

(4.) The inflexional increment ' attu ' or ' attru.' — All Tamil nouns 
which end in ' am,' whether Sanscrit derivatives or pure Tamil roots, 
reject ' am ' in the oblique cases in the singular, and take ' att-u ' 
instead ; and it is to this increment that the various case-signs are 
suffixed : e.g., ;the locative case-sign ' il ' is not added to ' aram,' depth, 
but to the inflexional base 'ar-attu,' so that, in the depth is not 
'%am-il,' but 'ar-att-il.' This rule admits of no exception in the 
ordinary dialect of the Tamil ; but in the poetical dialect, which 
represents more or less distinctly an older condition of the language^ 
' attu ' is sometimes left unused, and the case-sign is added directly to 
the crude base : e.g., instead of ' kay-attu-kku,' to the depth (from 
' kayam,' deyth '), ' kaya-kku ' is used in the Chintamani. When the 
increment 'attu ' is not followed by any sign of case, but by another 
noun, like the other inflexion ' in ' and like the corresponding Telugu 
inflexion ' ti,' it has the force either of the genitive or of an adjective; 
e.g., ' mar-attu koppu, the branch of a tree, ' kul-attu min,' tank fish. 
This inflexion, like 'ad ' and ' ar ' in Canarese, and ' ^i,' or ' ti ' in 
Telugu, is used in connexion with the singular alone. 'am,' the 
formative of the base, which is used only by the nominative in the 


212 THE NOUN. 

singular, is retained in the plural, not in the nominative only, but in 
all the oblique cases. To it the sign of plurality is appended, and the 
case-sign follows the sign of plurality ; e.g., ' maranggalil ' (' maram- 
gal-il'), in trees. 

There are in Tamil a few naturally plural (neuter) pronominals 
and nouns of relation (e.ff., ' avei,' those (things); ^sila,,' few; ' pala,' 
many ; ' ella,' all), which receive in their oblique cases the inflexional 
increment ' aBRu,' pronounced ' attru.' Thus, from ' ellam,' all, which 
is properly ' ejla-um ' (' um ' being the conjunctive and intensitive 
particle even, and 'ella-um' or 'ellam' signifying even all, all together), 
the locative which is formed by the Tamil is ' ellavattrilum, (ella-(v)- 
attr'-ilum), in all, literally even in all. So also ' avei,' they (neut.)j 
forms its accusative not by adding ' ei,' the accusative case-sign> 
to ' avei,' but by inserting ' attru,' and adding ' ei ' thereto, e.g., 
' avattrei ' (' av-attr-ei '), them ; in which instance ' ei ' (for ' a '), the 
sign of the plural, is rejected, and its place is supplied by ' attru,' the 
inflexional increment of this class of plurals. 

It is evident that the Tamil increments, ' attu ' and ' attru,' are 
virtually identical. The difference in use is slight, and in pronunci- 
ation still slighter ; and in general ' attru ' is pronounced exactly 
like ' attu ' by the vulgar. We may, therefore, c(|)nolude that they 
are one and the same, and on examining the Telugu we find additional 
confirmation of their identity. In Telugu, avi, thfiy (neut.), answer- 
ing to the Tamil 'avei,' forms its inflexion in 'vati'(for 'avati'). 
This Telugu (supposititious) ' avati ' is evidently identical with the 
Tamil ' avattru.' The ' ti ' of this inflexion is certainly the same as 
the 'ti' of Telugu nouns substantive: and if there is no difference 
in Telugu between the ' ti ' which forms the inflexional increment of 
neuter singular nouns and demonstratives and the plural inflexion 'ti' 
of such words as ' vati,' we may also conclude that there is no real dif- 
ference between the singular 'attu' and the plural 'attru' of the Tamil. 
Whence did the ' r ' which is included in ' aRBu,' or ' attr-u,' 
take its rise ? We see its origin clearly enough in Canarese ; for 
in the ancient dialect ' ar,' or 'r,' forms the inflexional increment of 
every one of the plural pronominals which take ' aRRu ' in Tamil : 
e.g., 'avara' (corresponding Tam. ' ^Yaiimx'), of those things; 'ellavara' 
(Tam. ' ellavaRRu '), of all things; 'kelavara' (Tam. ' silavaRitu '), 
of some (things). The Canarese ' r ' is, as we have seen, derived from, 
and originally identical with, ' d,' or 't;' and hence the Tamil in 
doubling 'r' gives it the sound 'ttr.' Thus, not only the Tamil 
increment ' att-u,' but also ' aRR-n,' is clearly derived from the same 
origin as the Canarese 'ad' or 'ar,' and the Telugu ' ti,' viz., from 


the neat. sing, demonstrative. Both these inflexions have been 
formed also by the same process; for ' ar,' when doubled, becomes 
' aRK-u ' (' attr-u '), as naturally as ' ad,' when doubled, becomes 
' att-u ; ' and in each case the doubling arises from the adjectival use 
to which the suffixed pronoun is put. It is a recognized rule of the 
Tamil that when a noun ending in 'd-u' is used adjectivally, the, 
' d-u ' may either become ' d-in ' or ' tt-u ; ' e.g., from ' erud-u,' an 
ox, is formed either 'erud-in ' or 'erutt-u,' of an ox. So also ' ad-u,' 
it, which is now generally inflected by the addition of ' in,' seems to 
have been inflected formerly as ' att-u.' ' adu ' is vulgarly pro- 
nounced in the oblique cases as ' attu ' by the bulk of the northern 
Tamilians. The majority of the natives of Madras, for instance, use 
'attei' ('attu-ei') as the accusative of 'adu,' tlmt, instead of 'adei;' 
and in the neuter singular pronominal suffixes to the verb the same 
pronunciation is not only commonly heard, but is often written : 
e.g., instead of 'irukkiRadukku,' to its being (the dative of 'iru- 
kkir-adu,' it is, the being, or that which is), Madras Tamilians invari- 
ably write ' irukkiRattukku ; in which compound 'attu' is evidently 
used as the neuter demonstrative singular instead of ' adu.' It is also 
deserving of notice, that the feminine singular suffix of a large class of 
appellative nouns, which is 'di' or ' adi ' in Telugu, and which has 
been shown to be identical with the neuter demonstrative, is in Tamil 
' tti ' or ' atti,' e.g.,- ' rasatti,' a woman of the Raja caste, a queen. Even 
in the nominative ' atti ' is sometimes used in Telugu instead of ' adi,' 
that, and ' itti ' instead of ' idi,' this. 

Two instances will suffice to prove the identity of the Tamil ' attu ' 
and the Canarese ' ad,' and thus supply the only link that is wanting 
to the perfect identification of 'attu' with the Telugu 'ti,' and of 
both with ' adu.' The Tamil ' purv-att-il,' in ancient times, is com- 
pounded of 'purv-am' (Sans, deriv.), antiquity, 'att-u,' the inflexional 
increment, and ' il,' the sign of the locative. Compare this with the 
corresponding Canarese ' purv-ad-alli,' in which it is evident that 
' ad ' is used in the same manner as ' att-u,' and perfectly agrees with 
it in signification. Again, the Tamil ' ^yirattondru,' a thousand and 
one, is formed from ' ayiram,' a thousand (the inflexion of which is 
' Syir-attu ' ), and 'ondru,' owe. When this is compared with the 
corresponding Canarese word ' saviradondu,' from ' s^vir',' a thousand 
(equivalent to the Tamil ' ayir")— inflexional form ' s&vir-ad ' — to 
which ' ondu,' identical with ' ondru,' is appended, it is evident that 
the Canarese increment 'ad'' and the Tamil ' att" are one and the 
same; and also that in this instance the Canarese 'ad" is used for 
precisely the same purpose as the Tamil 'att',' viz.., a's an inflexional 
increment with an adjectival signification. 

214 THE NOUN. 

(5.) The formation of the inflexion hy TMans of dotibling and 
hardening the final consonant. — Tamil nouns ending in 'd-u' and 
'b-u ' form the basis of their oblique cases by doubling the final 'd' 
and 'r;' and the doubled 'd' becomes by rule 'tt/ and the doubled 
'R,' 'ttr' (though spelled 'br'): e.g., from 'kad-u,' a jungle, is 
formed ' katt-(u)-kku,' to a jvmgle; from 'aB-u/ a river, 'attr-il' 
('aRR-il'), in a river. 

This doubling of the final consonant of such nouns places them in 
an adjectival relation to the succeeding noun. It is to be regarded as 
a sign of transition, for when intransitive or neuter verbs ending 
in 'd-u' or 'b-u' double their finals, they acquire a transitive sig' 
nification ; e.g., from ' 6d-u,' to run, is formed ' ott-u,' to drive; from 
'teR-u,' to become clear, comes 'tettr-u' ('teBR-u'}, to clarify, to 
comfort. Properly speaking, therefore, this doubling of the final is an 
adjectival formative, rather than an inflexion or case-sign basis : but 
in this, as in many other cases, the same form is used in both con- 
nections, in consequence of the case-sign which is appended to the 
doubled final having originally been a noun, and still retaining in 
compounds the force of a noun. 

In Telugu the final consonant of nouns of this class is hardened, 
but not doubled, to form the inflexion or basis of the oblique cases; 
e.g., the inflexion of ' eB-u,' a river, is not ' ettri ' ('eBBi '), but 'eti,' of 
a river; and that of ' nadu,' a country, is ' n&ti,' •q/'o country. In 
some instances the Telugu corresponds more closely to the Tamil in 
forming the inflexion of nouns in ' bb ' by changing that into ' Bt :' 
e.g., ' aBB-u,' the neck; inflexion of the same ' aBti.' If we regarded 
the Telugu alone, we should consider these examples, not as instances 
of the doubling of a final ' d ' or ' b,' but rather as instances of the 
incorporation of ' ti,' the usual inflexional suffix with those finals j and 
we should suppose this view to be confirmed by the circumstance that 
the Telugu does not, like the Tamil, double the final ' d-u' or 'b-u ' 
of intransitive verbs on converting them into transitives, but adds a 
formative ' chu.' Nevertheless, the Tamil rule is so clear and ex- 
press and so evidently founded upon grammatical reasons, and the 
Telugu words in question, 'nati,' &c., so exactly agree with the 
Tamil, that we cannot but recognise in them the operation of the same 
principle, though somewhat disguised. In other and parallel instances, 
though the Telugu hardens, it does not double : e.g., from ' pad-n,' 
Tarn, and Tel., to sing, the Tamil forms ' patt-u,' a song, the Telugu 
' pat-a.' The final ' i ' of such Telugu inflexions as ' nati,' of a country 
(from ' nad-u '), instead of ' nat-u,' which the Tamil would lead us to 
expect, is owing, I have no doubt, to the influence of 'ti,' which is 
the ordinary suflSx of the inflexion of neuter nouns. 


7. The inflexional increment 'i.' — The inflexiou of the plural of 
the Telugu epicene demonstrative pronoun consists in ' i,' e.g., ' varu ' 
(from ' avaru '), those persons; inflexion ' vari,' of them, their. 

The final ' u ' of ' var-u ' is merely euphonic, but the ' i ' of ' vari ' 
is certainly an inflexional increment ; and possibly the final ' i ' of 
the singular masculine demonstrative inflexional ' vani ' is not to be 
regarded as a portion of ' ni,' the ordinary inflexional increment of 
Telugu masculine nouns, but is identical with the final ' i ' of ' vari.' 
A small class of Telugu nouns form their singular inflexion also in 
' i,' e.g., ' kal-i,' of a foot, ' ter-i,' of a car. What is the origin 
of this ' i ?' I think we arc guided to a true idea of its origin by 
comparing it with the possessive pronoun ' varidi,' Tel., that which is 
theirs, which in Ku also is ' evaridi.' When 'varidi' is compared 
with the Tamil possessive ' avaradu,' the meaning of which is exactly 
the same, we see that in each language the termination is that of the 
neuter demonstrative pronoun, which is ' adu ' in Tamil, ' adi ' in 
Telugu ; and we also see that the penultimate ' i ' of ' varidi ' is 
derived by attraction, according to Telugu usage, from the succeeding 
' i,' which is that of the neuter demonstrative singular ' adi.' The 
final ' i ' of ' vari ' may therefore be regarded as an abbreviation 
of ' adi,' or at least as derived from it. 

(8.) Telugu plural inflexional increment in 'a.' — In Telugu 'a' 
.constitutes the plural inflexion of most colloquial pronominals, and 
of all substantive nouns without exception. '1-u,' properly '1,' is 
the pluralising particle of all neuter nouns in Telugu, and of the 
majority of ' rational ' ones : the inflexion is eflected by changing 
this 'Iru' into 'la,' or to speak more correctly, by suflSxing 'a' to 
'1' — the final vowel of 'lu' being merely euphonic; and it is to this 
incremental 'a,' as to 'ni' and 'ti,' the singular inflexions, that all 
the case-signs are appended, e.g., ' kattulu,' .Arewes/ inflexion 'kattula/ 
instrumental ' kattula-cheta,' by Icnives. 

I have no doubt that this inflexional increment ' a ' is identical 
with ' a,' one of the TamilrCanarese signs of the genitive, and of the 
use of which as a genitive, in, the singular as well as in the plural, we 
have an illustration even in Telugu, in the reflexive pronouns ' tan-a,' 
of self, ' tam-a,' of selves. This increment also, therefore, is to be 
regarded as a genitive in origin, though in actual use merely an 
inflexion; and I have no doubt that each of the Dravidian inflexions 
proceeds from some genitive case-sign. 

Before leaving this subject, I should briefly refer to one which 
bears some relation to it, viz. : — 

216 THE NOUN. 

Euphonic links of connection between the base and the inflexion, 
the base and the case-signs, or the inflexion and the case-signs. 

In Tamil the dative case-sign ' ku ' is generally preceded by an 
euphonic ' u,' and through the influence of this ' u ' the ' k ' is doubled. 
Thus, from 'avan,' he, is formed not 'avanku,' to him, but 'avanukku' 
('avan-u-kku '). The personal pronouns, both in the singular and in 
"the plural, make use of an euphonic ' a ' in this connection, instead 
of ' u/ e.g., from ' nan ' (or rather from an older ' eii '), /, is formed 
the inflexion 'enj' and this takes as its dative not 'enku' or 
' enukku,' to me, but 'euakku' (en-a-kku). 

In Malayalam the personal pronouns require the insertion of an 
euphonic 'i' between the inflexion and the case-sign, e.g., 'inikka,' 
to me, ' nanikka,' to thee. In some instances in Tamil the euphonic 
vowel which is made use of in this connection is not ' u ' or ' a,' bat 
' ei.' Thus ' ual,' a day, forms its dative not in 'nalku,' ' nalukku,' 
or ' nalakku,' but in ' naleikku.' In the higher dialect of the Tamil 
the dative case-sign ' ku ' is often directly attached to the noun, 
especially in those instances in which the noun terminates in a liquid 
or serai-vowel ; e.g., we find in that dialect not ' avarukkn ' (' avar- 
u-kku'), to them, but 'avarku.' In ancient Canarese also, the dative 
case-sign was invariably attached in this manner. 

Whenever concurrent vowels meet in Tamil 'v' and 'y' are 
used, as has already been shown, to prevent hiatus; and accordingly 
they are used between the final vowel of nouns and those inflexions 
or case-signs which begin with vowels; e.g., 'naduvil' ('nadQ-(v)-il'), 
in the middle; 'variyil' ('vaTi-(y)-il'), in the way. Compare this 
with the use of ' v ' for a similar purpose in Magyar : e.g., from ' 16,' 
a horse, and 'at,' the sign of the objective case, is formed not 'loat,' 
but ' 16 vat,' precisely as would be done in Tamil. ' v ' and ' y ' are 
used by the Canarese in the same manner as by the Tamil ; but in 
Telugu, as has already been shown, 'n' is used as a preventive of 
hiatus instead of ' v.' 

The way has now been prepared for the investigation of the 
Dravidian oblique cases, and of the signs of case properly so called. 

Tlie accusative or ' second ' case. — In the Indo-European languages 
the case-sign of the accusative of neuter nouns is identical with that 
of the nominative case. .This identity has arisen, I conceive, not 
from the nominative being used as an accusative, but vice versa from 
the accusative being used as a nominative. The accusative case-suffix 
is a sign «f passivity, or of being acted upon ; and it was sufiixed to 
masculine and feminine nouns to denote that in that instance they 


were to be regarded not as agents, but as objects. Subsequently, I 
conceive, it was adopted, because of this signification, as a general 
characteristic of the neuter, objective, or dead class of nouns, and so 
came to be used as the nominative, or normal case-ending of nouns of 
that class. 

In the Dravidian languages also an accusative case-sign seems to 
have been adopted as a formative termination of abstract neuter 
nouns. The Old Canarese accusative case-sign ' am ' seems to be 
identical with, and is probably the origin of, the 'am' which is so 
largely used by Dravidian neuters. Notwithstanding this, the use of 
the nominative, or rather of the simple, unformed base, as the accu- 
sative of neuter nouns, is the ordinary and almost universal colloquial 
usage of the Dravidians, and is often found even in their classical com- 
positions. The accusative case-termination may be suiExed whenever 
it appears to be desirable to do so, either for the sake of euphony or 
to prevent ambiguity ; but it is rarely employed except when it is 
required for those purposes. When this case-termination is used 
without necessity, it sounds stiff and unidiomatic; and this is one of 
the peculiarities by which the Tamil of foreigners is marked. Dravi- 
dian masculine and feminine nouns and their corresponding pronouns 
invariably take the accusative case-suffix when they are governed by 
active verbs. This probably proceeds from the principle that it is 
more natural for rational beings to act than to be acted upon j and 
hence when they do happen to be acted upon — when the nouns by 
which they are denoted are to be taken objectively — it becomes neces- 
sary, in order to avoid misapprehension, to suffix to them the objective 
case-sign. On the other hand, the difference between the nominative 
and the accusative of neuter nouns is often allowed to pass unnoticed, 
because such nouns, whether they act or are acted upon, are alike 
destitute of personality and inert. Whether the accusative is used as 
the nominative, as in the Indo-European languages, or whether, as is 
often the case in the Scythian tongues, the nominative is used for the 
accusative, the principle involved appears to be one and the same. 

The use of the nominative of neuter nouns for the accusative is not 
unknown to the North-Indian vernaculars, and is one of those par- 
ticulars in which those vernaculars appear to be allied to the Dravidian 
family. Ordinarily, however, the North-Indian vernaculars are dis- 
tinguished from the southern by their use of the dative case-sign for 
the accusative. In the Dravidian family, with the solitary exception 
of the Gond, the dative case-sign is always quite distinct from the 
accusative; whereas in the Gauda or North-Indian family, there is 
generally little or no difference between those two cases. In most 

218 THE NOUN. 

instances, the case-sign which is allied to the Dravidian dative suffix, 
a,nd which appears to be essentially a dative, is that which is used 
for both cases indiscriminately; and it is the connexion which 
determines whether the dative or the accusative is to be understood. 

(1.) Accusative case-dgns ' ei,' 'e,' and 'a.' — The only sign of the 
accusative which the Tamil recognizes is 'ei,' which is suffixed to both 
numbers and to all genders; though, as has been mentioned, the 
accusative of neuter nouns is often identical with the nominative or 
base. Examples^' avan-ei,' him,, ' aval-ei,' her, ' ad-ei,' it. The accusar- 
tive case-sign of the Malayalam is ' e ;' and this is evidently a primi- 
tive form of the Tamil 'ei.' The Canarese ordinarily uses either 'a' 
or ' annu,' as its accusative case-sign ; but in some instances (e. g., 
• nanna,' me, ' ninna,' thee,) it appears to make use of ' na,' instead of 
'a.' This 'a' seems to be equivalent to the Malayala 'e' and the 
Tamil ' ei,' into which the Canarese short ' a' is often found to change 
by rule. 

The Tamil-Malayala accusative case-sign ' e' or ' ei,' may be cona- 
pared with 'he' or 'e,' the dative-accusative of Hindi pronouns; with 
the Gujarathi dative-accusative singular 'e;' and with the preponde- 
rance of the vowel ' e' which is observed in the dative-accusatives of 
the Bengali and Sindhi. Compare also the Brahui dative-accusative 
' ne ' or ' e,' and the Malay ' e.' 

On pushing the comparison amongst the Scythian tongues, not a 
few of their accusative case-signs are found to resemble the Tamil 
accusative. Thus the Wotiak accusative is formed by adding 'a' to the 
root, e.g., ' ton,' thou, ' ton-a,' thee. The Turkish accusative is ' i ' or 
'yi;' the Mongolian 'i' after a consonant: 'dji,' instead of the Turkish 
' yi,' after a vowel. 

The Turkish 'i' is doubtless a softened form of the Oriental 
Turkish accusative case-sign ' ni,' from which it has been derived, by 
the same process by which the Turkish dative case-sign 'eh' or 'yeh,' 
is undoubtedly derived from the old Oriental Turkish ' ga ' or ' ghah;' 
It would therefore appear that the Scythian accusative originally 
contained a nasal ; and in accordance with this supposition we find in 
the Calmuck pronouns an accusative case-sign corresponding to the 
Oriental Turkish 'ni,' e.g., ' bida-ni,' its, from 'bida,' we, and also 
' na-mai,' me, and ' dzi-mai",' thee, from the bases ' na' and ' dzi.' With 
this we may again compare the Brahui dative-accusative ' ne ' or ' e.' 
That the Oriental Turkish 'ni' could easily and naturally be softened 
into 'yi' or 'V appears from the Dravidian languages themselves; in 
which, for instance, the personal pronoun ' n4n,' Tarn., /, has been 


softened first into ' yan,' and then, in the oblique cases and the verbal 
terminations, to ' en' and ' en.' 'ni' being evidently the basis of the 
Turkish and Mongolian sign of the accusative, if the Dravidian 'ei' or 
* e ' is allied to it, as we have supposed to be probable, this ' ei' or '6' 
must originally have been preceded or followed by a nasal ; and in 
investigating the ot!her Dravidian accusative case-signs we shall dis- 
cover some reasons for concluding this to have been actually the case. 

(2.) A ccviative ease-signs 'am,' ' annu,' 'anna,' 'nu,'&c. — 'am 'is 
the characteristic sign of the ancient Canarese accusative, and is used 
in connexion with nouns and pronouns alike, e.g., 'aval-am,' her. The 
more modern form of the Canarese accusative is 'annu,' e.g., 'aval-annu,' 
her; and this 'annu' is certainly identical with the older 'am.' 
'am ' has in other instances besides this evinced a tendency to change 
into 'an;' for he is 'avam' in ancient Canarese, though ' avan' in 
Tamil. The change of the old Indo-European 'm,' the sign of the 
accusative in Latin and Sanscrit, into the Greek ' y ' is also a parallel 
case. The ancient Canarese case-sign ' am ' no sooner changed into 
' an,' than it would irresistibly be impelled to euphonise ' an ' by the 
addition of ' nu.' Even in Tamil ' vin,' the shy, is commonly pro- 
nounced 'vinnu,' and in Telugu it is 'vinnu' by rule. Hence we 
seem to be quite safe in deriving ' annu ' directly from ' an,' and ' an ' 
from ' am.' 

Another form of the Canarese accusative case-sign is 'anna,' instead 
of ' annu,' or simply ' nna ' or ■ na,' e.g., ' na-nna/ me. The final ' u,' 
has in this instance been changed into 'a,' through the attractive 
force of the primitive ' an :' or rather, perhaps, the entire euphonic 
appendage ' nu,' has been rejected, and the original case-sign ' an ' 
been softened to ' a,' whilst the final ' n ' of the base has been doubled 
to augment or express the objectivity of the signification. 

The Tulu accusatives 'nu' and 'n' {e.g., 'yanu' or ' yannu,' me) 
are evidently identical with the Canarese, and also with the Telugu ; 
and they are peculiarly valuable as tending to show the connection of 
the Telugu accusative suffix 'nu ' or 'ni,' with the older Canarese 'an' 
and the still older ' am.' The Tuda accusative of the pronoun of the 
first person singular ends in ' ama,' e.g., 'en-ama,' me : when the Gond 
accusative difiers from the dative it is denoted by 'un.' 

In Telugu the neuter accusative is ordinarily the same as the 
nominative, as in the other Dravidian dialects; but when the noun 
belongs to the class of 'rationals' or ' majors,' the accusative must be 
expressed by the addition of a sign of case. The accusative case-sign' 
may optionally be suffixed, as in Tamil, to neuter nouns ; but whether 

220 THE NOUN. 

the noun be a 'major' or a ' minor,' singular or plural, the sign of case 
must be suflSxed to the inflexion, genitive, or oblique-case basis, not to 
the nominative. When the inflexion is the same as the nominative, 
the noun to which the case-sign is attached is still regarded as the 
inflexion, so that in theory the rule admits of no exceptions. 

The sign of the accusative in Telugu is ' nu ' or ' ni :' when pre- 
ceded by ' i ' it is 'ni,' e.g., 'inti-ni,' ' dom-umf where it is preceded 
by any other vowel it is ' nu,' e.g., ' bidda-nu,' ' puer-um.' 

A similar 'ni' or 'na' is used in Telugu (but not so systematically 
~ as the corresponding ' in ' in Tamil) as an euphonic inflexional incre- 
ment; and 'na' or ' ni ' is also a sign of the locative in Telugu. 
Probably those locative and genitive suffixes were originally, and are 
still to be regarded, as one and the same; but the sign of the accusa- 
tive, though nearly identical in sound, proceeds apparently from a 
difierent source. Comparing it with the Canarese and especially with 
the Tulu accusative, we can scarcely avoid the conclusion that, though 
in sound it is identical with the ordinary inflexional augment, it is to 
be regarded as a relic of the Canarese accusative case-sign ' annu ' or 
' am.' The suffixes of the accusative of the Telugu personal pronouns 
can be explained on this supposition alone. The ' inflexions ' of those 
pronouns are essentially different from their accusatives, and incapable 
of being confounded with them ; and the accusatives of those pronouns 
take of necessity, and not merely for euphony, the nasal suffixes ' nu' 
or ' nnu ' in the singular, and ' mu ' or ' mmu ' in the plural. Thus, 
whilst ' na,' of me, is the inflexion of ' nenu/ /, its accusative is 'nanu' 
or 'nannu,' me; the accusative of the second person is 'ninn' or 
'mnuu,' thee, and their plurals are ' niamu ' or ' mammu," ws, 'mimu' 
or ' mimrau,' pou, whilst the inflexions of those plurals are ' ma' and 

When these accusatives are compared with the Canarese and Tulu, 
especially with ' yanu,' me, and ' ninu,' thee, in the latter, their vir- 
tual identity, and therefore the origin of them all from the ancient 
Canarese ' am,' can scarcely be doubted. 

We may now proceed to compare this accusative case-sign ' am,' 
'an,' 'annu,' ' nu,' or 'na' with the Gujarathi dative-accusative 'ne,' 
with the Panjabi ' nu' or ' num,' and also with the Brahui 'ne ' or 'e,' 
and the Turkish and Mongolian 'ni' or ' i.' In the Finnish tongues 
the greater number of singular accusatives are formed by suffixing 'en,' 
' an,' &c., which are also used as signs of the genitive : in the plural 
there is rarely any difference between the nominative and the accusa- 
tive. Ascending further towards the source of the Scythian tongues, 
we lind in the language of the Scythian tablets at Behistun an un- 


questionable link of connexion with the Dravidian. The pronoun of 
the second person singular in that language is ' ni,' thou, of which 
'nin' is the accusative; and when this is compared with the Tulu 
' nin-u,' thee, we cannot fail to be struck with the closeness of the 

We should also notice the extensive use of ' m ' or ' n ' as an 
accusative case-sign in the languages of the Indo-European family. 
In Sanscrit, Latin, and Gothic, ' m' predominates, in Greek, 'n ;' but 
these consonants are virtually identical, like the ' m ' of the ancient 
Canarese, and the ' n ' of the modern. 

A similar form of the accusative being extensively prevalent, as we 
have seen, in the Scythian tongues, it would be unreasonable to derive 
the Dravidian case-sign from the Indo-European. In this instance it 
is better to conclude that both families have retained a relic of their 
original oneness. 

It only remains to inquire whether the Tamil-Malayilam accusa- 
tive case-sign 'ei' or 'e' cannot be connected with the Canarese 'am,' 
' aunu,' and ' na.' On comparing the ancient Canarese accusative 
' ninnam,' thee, with the more modern ' ninna,' it can scarcely be 
doubted that the latter is derived from the former by the ordinary 
process of the softening away of the final nasal. Through this very 
process the final ' am ' of many substantive nouns has been softened, 
to ' a,' e.g., ' maram,' Ancient Can., a tree, ' raara ' or ' mara-vu,' 
modern Can. If then the sign of the accusative in ' ninna/ thee, is 
not 'na' but 'a' (instead of 'am'), as is probably the case, there 
cannot be any difficulty in deriving from it the Tamil accusative case- 
sign ' ei ', for the change of 'a' into ' ei,' takes place so frequently 
that it may almost be considered as a dialectic one, e.g., compare Old 
Tamil ' ila,' not, with the modern Tamil * illei.' 

The instrumental, or ' third ' case. — Different particles are used by 
different Dravidian dialects as suffixes of the instrumental case. In 
Telugu the most classical instrumental is identical with the inflexional 
locative, and consists in changing ' ti ' or ' ti,' the ' inflexion,' into 
' ta ' or ' ta j' e.ff., ' ra-ta,' with a stone, from ' ra-yi,' a stone, the in- 
flexion of which is ' r&-ti.' 

This form, of the instrumental was probably a locative in its ori- 
ginal signification, and at all events it is identical with an old form of 
the locative ; e.g., 'inta,' in a house, from 'illu,' a house, of which the 
inflexion is 'inti.' The more commonly used instrumental of the 
Telugu is formed by the addition to the inflexion of any noun of 'che ' 
or ' cheta,' which is itself the instrumental form of ' che-yi ' (Tam., 

222 THE NOUN. 

'kei'), the Jinnd, signifying hy the hand {of); e.g., 'nibbu-cheta,' 6jr 
Jire, literally hy the hand of fire. 

The inflexion, or genitive, without the addition of any special sufSx:, 
is also occasionally used in Telugu, as in High Tamil, to denote the 
instrumental case, as well as the ablative of motion and the locative. 

The particle ' na' is also -sometimes suffixed to neuter nouns to 
denote all three ablatives. 

In Ancient Canarese the instrumental case-sign is ' im ;' in the 
modern dip,lect ' inda,' an euphonised, adjectival form of the same 
sufBlx. The suflSx of the Tulu is ' d'da.' 

I consider ' im,' the old Canarese instrumental suffix, to be iden- 
tical in origin with 'in,' the suffix of the Tamil ' ablative of motion/ 
or ' locative.' It has already been seen how easily ' m ' changes into 
' n :' and both in Canarese and in Tamil there is so close a connexion 
between the ablative of motion and the instrumental, that the case- 
sign of the former is very often used for the latter, especially by the 
poets ; e.g., ' val-in aya vadu,' Tarn., a wound inflicted ''by' a sword, not 
'from' a sword. In Canarese ^Iso the ablative of motion is denoted 
more frequently by the suffix of the instrumental than by its own 
suffix. Through a similar tendency to confound these cases, the case- 
sign of the instrumental has disappeared from the Latin, Greek, &c., 
and the sign of the ablative has come to be used instead. Even in 
English, 'by,' originally a locative {e.g., 'close by'), has lost this 
meaning altogether, and is used at present to form the ablative, or 
more properly the instrumental. 

In Tamil and Malay&lam the suffix of the instrumental is ' al ;' in 
High Tamil 'an' also. ' al' is the case-sign of the ablative or instru- 
mental in G6nd, though in Telugu, wLich is spoken between the 
Tamil country and the country of the Gonds, a different case-sign is 
used. This suffix ' al ' is possibly derived from, or allied to, ' kal,' 
Tarn., a Qhannel, a noun which is contained not only in the Dra vidian 
dialects, but also in Bengali. 

In some dialeqts 'channel' is a cojnpound word (Tam., 'kalvay;' 
Tei.., 'ikalava;' Can., 'kalive'), and the only meaning of 'kal' is a 
foot. This meaning is contained in the Tamil, but that of a " channel,' 
which the Tamil contains also, suits better the supposed use which is 
made of 'kal,' as a sign of the instrumental case, 'kal' may have 
lost its initial ' k ' in the same manner as ' kal,' the neuter sign of 
plurality, is known to have dope in Telugu and Tulu, in which it has 
become '1-u,' by corruption irpm 'kal-u' or 'gal-u.' 

In the Indo-European family of languages there are no signs of 
the instrumental case which at all resemble those that we have noticed 


in the Drividian family. The only analogies which I have noticed 
(and probably they are illusory) are those which exist between the 
case-sign of the Tamil-Malayalam and the corresponding case-signs of 
the Finnish tongues. Compare * al ' with the instrumental suffix of 
the Magyar, which is 'al' in the singular, 'el' in the plural; and 
with ' alia,' ' ella,' &c., the instrumental suffixes of the Finnish proper, 
and which are euphonically augmented forms of ' al ' and ' el.' 

A secondary or periphrastic mode of forming the instrumental 
case, which obtains in the Dravidian languages, as also in the northern 
vernaculars, is by means of the preterite verbal participle of the verb 
' to take,' and the accusative or abstract nominative of any noun ; 
e.g., 'kattiyei (k)kondu,' Tam,, mth a hnife, literally having taken a 
knife : compare the corresponding Bengali ' churi diya,' with {i.e., 
having taken) a knife. 

This has arisen from the repugnance of the Dravidian (as of all the 
Scythian) languages to continue to make use of any inflexional form 
after it has ceased to express its original meaning, and has become a 
mere technical sign. When that has taken place, as in the instance of 
the Tamil ' kal ' or ' al,' those languages are often found to abandon 
the old form, or let it fall gradually into disuse, and to adopt some 
word or phrase instead which has a distinct meaning of its own, and 
the use of which recommends itself at once to the intelligence of the 

Under this head it is desirable to enquire into the force of the 
Dravidian conjunctive case, and the suffixes by which it is denoted. 

Dravidian grammarians have arranged the case system of their 
nouns in the Sanscrit «rder, and in doing so have done violence to the 
genius of their own grammar. It is very doubtful whether the Dravi- 
dian ' ablative of motion ' and the ' locative ' are not one and the same 
case, though represented as diflferent by grammarians, in deference to 
Sanscrit precedents ; and the Dravidian 'social ablative,' as some have 
called it, or rather, as it should be termed, ' the conjunctive case,' has 
been omitted in each dialect from the list of cases', or added on to the 
instrumental, simply because it is a case of which the Sanscrit knows 

The onlv reason why the case-signs of the conjunctive are classed 
in Tamil with that of the instrumental is that the fact of their being 
destitute of a proper ,place of their own is less obvious in that posi- 
tion than it would .be in any other. Notwithstanding this, the diifer- 
ence between those two cases is considerable. 

The instrumental is best rendered in English by the preposition 
'.by,' 'by means of/ the force of the conjunctive is that of the prepo- 

224 THE NOUN. 

sition 'with,' in the sense of the Latin 'cum,' or together with. Some- 
times the English preposition ' with ' is used in either sense; e.g., ' I 
cut it with a knife ' — ' I went with him :' but in the Dravidian lan- 
guages the former 'with' would be represented by the sign of the ia- 
strumental case, the latter by that of the conjunctive; e.g., ' katti-(y)-al,' 
Tam., by a hnife, 'avan-odu,' with him. 

Though the Sanscrit and the Indo-European languages generally 
a,re destitute of this case, the Latin evinces a tendency towar(is it in 
such forms as ' nobiscum ;' whilst most of the Scythian tongues have 
a regularly formed conjunctive case equally with the Dravidian : and 
'den,' the conjunctive case-sign of the Calmuck, may even be com- 
pared (though probably the resemblance is accidental) with the Tamil , 
conjunctive case-sign, 'udan.' 

The Tamil conjunctive case-signs are 'udan,' ' odu,' and 'odu ;' of 
which the two last have now no meaning of their own, and the first is 
occasionally used as a noun signifying ' conjunction ' or ' continuity.' 
It is also capable of being combined with another word as an adjective, , 
e.g., ' udan al,' a fellow servant; and with the addition of the emphatic 
'e ' ('udan-e'), it is used also as an adverb to signify immediately. 

The final 'an' of 'udan' (Tel., 'todan-u'), is probably a format 
tive additiou to the root-syllable, for 'udam' is another and equiva- 
lent Tamil form ; and the first syllable can scarcely be doubted to 
be allied to 'odu,' the other sign of the same case in High Tamil. 

'u' is always pronounced as 'o' before ' d,' and other cerebrals, . 
whenever the word in which it appears has a second syllable. Hence 
'udan' is invariably pronounced ' odan ;' and in the Canarese post- 
position 'odane' (Tel., ' todane'), this proiinnciation is written as 
well as heard, 'odu' (emphatically "6d-e'), the third suffix of this 
case in Tamil, and the most common in the colloquial dialect (in 
Malayalam 'ota'), is evidently allied to 'odu,' and through it to 
'udan.' As neither 'odu' nor 'odu' has any meaning of its own in 
Tamil, it is evident that they have undergone some alteration, and it 
is desirable to trace their connexions in the other dialects. 

On turning to the Telugu, we find that its conjunctive case signs, 
which are evidently allied to those of the Tamil, have the consonant 
't' prefixed to each of them, e.g., 'toda' and 'to.' Supposing 
'toda,' Tel., with, to be identical with the Malayalam ' o^a ' and the 
Tamil ' 6du' (and its identity is put beyond a doubt by comparing the 
Tamil adjective ' udan' with th^Tel. 'todan-u,' and the Tam. adverb 
' udane ' with the Tel. 'todanfi'), the conjunctive suffixes of the Tamil- 
Malayalam, which were destitute of meaning by themselves, are now 
found to acquire a very appropriate meaning; for the Tamil 'tora' (in 


the abstract Uora-mei'), which' is phonetically equivalent to 'toda' 
('d' in Telugu corresponding by rule to 'r' in Tamil), means compan- 
ionship, 'todu' itself also is found, with the related signification of" 
a congeries, a collection ; and though ' udan ' has by itself the meaning 
of conjunction^ or continuity, yet when 't' is prefixed to it, we can 
immediately detect its relationship to ' tudar ' or ' todar,' to follow, 
and ultimately to 'todu' and 't6ra.' Thus it appears highly probable 
that all these words and forms are virtually-identical. 

The dative or "fourth " case — In the North-Indian dialects one 
and the same post-position or suffix is used as a sign of case both by 
the dative and by the accusative. In the Dravidian languages, not 
only is the difiference between the dative and the accusative essential 
and strongly marked, but there is less discrepancy amongst the various 
Dravidian dialects with respect to the particular suffix which is used 
to denote the dative, than with respect to any other case-sign. The 
accusatives, instrumentals, ablatives, and genitives, of the various 
dialects, exhibit material, diflfefences; but in all the dialects of this 
family — in the rudest as well as in the most polished — there is but 
one sufiix of the dative. 

The dative is formed in Tamil by suffixing 'ku' (in construction 
'kku'); in Malay&lam 'kka'; in Telugu ' ku ' or ' ki,' according to 
the nature of the preceding vowel, — properly and naturally 'ku;' in 
Old Canarese ' ge ' or 'ke;' in the modern dialect ' ge ' or ' kke,' 
and in construction ' ige.' From a comparison of these forms it is 
obvious that the guttural ' k ' or ' g ' (followed by a vowel) constitutes 
the only essential part of this suffix ; and that, as the vowel seems to 
have been added chiefly for the purpose of helping the enunciation, it 
is of little moment what vowel in particular is used for this purpose. 

In. the primitive Indo-European tongues we discover no trace of 
any such dative suffix or case-sign as the Drividian ' ku ; ' but on 
turning to the Scythian family, interesting analogies meet us at every 

In the vernaculars of Northern India, which are deeply tinged 
with Scythian characteristics,, we find a suffix which appears to be not 
only similar to the Dravidian, but the same. 

The dative-accusative in the Hindi and Hindustani is ' ko,' or 
colloquially ' ku ; ' in the language of Orissa ' ku ; ' in Bengali ' k^ ; ' 
in Sindhi 'khe;' in Singhalese 'ghai;' in the Uraon, a Semi- 
Dravidian Eole dialect, ' gai ; ' in the language of the Bodos, a 
Bhutan hill-tribe, 'kho;' in Tibetan 'gya.' 

The evident existence of a connexion between these suffixes and 


226 THE NOUN. 

the Dravidian dative case-sign ' ku ' is very remarlsable. Of all the 
analogies between the North-Indian dialects and the Southern, this is 
the clearest and most important; and it cannot but be regarded as 
betokening either an original connexion between the Northern and 
Southern races, prior to the Brahmanic irruption, or the origination of 
both races from one and the same primitive Scythian stock. 

The dative-accusatives of the North-Indian vernaculars have 
commonly been supposed to be accusatives in their original significa- 
tion, and datives in a secondary application alone. This is the opinion 
of Dr. Max Miiller, who attempts to derive ' ke,' the Bengali dative- 
accusative, from the Sanscrit adjectival formative ' ka.' I need not 
here criticize the Professor's arguments ; for the extensive use of this 
particle, or its equivalent, as a distinctively and exclusively dative 
suffix in the Dravidian languages, and also, as will be shown, in the 
Scythian tongues, appears to me to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, 
that it was a dative, not an objective snffix, originally ; and that its 
origin was far earlier and more remote than the late Sanscrit genealogy 
which is attributed to it by the Professor. J)r. Kay is, I believe^ 
right, in holding that the dative has a better claim than the 
accusative to the use of 'ko' even in the Northern vernaculars, 
and in directing attention to the parallel use of the Semitic pre- 
position 'la.' 

The suffix of the dative in the various languages of the Turkish 
family perfectly corresponds to the Dravidian dative and to the North- 
Indian dative-accusative. The forms of this suffix which are found in 
the Oriental Turkish are 'ke,' 'ka,' ' ge,' 'ga,' ' ghah,' and also 'a.' 
The Osmanli Turkish dative is ' eh ' or ' yeh,' the initial ' k ' or ' g ' 
of the older dialect having been softened into ' y,' and then discarded. 

The Manchu ' de ' and the Mongolian ' dou ' are possibly allied to 
the Tartar ' ke; ' for it has already been remarked that the change of 
'k' into 't' or 'd,' or vice versa, is not an uncommon one in this 
group of tongues, and that even amongst sister dialects belonging to 
the same family or sub-genus, the pluralising jjarticle in one dialect is 
• ek,' and in another ' et.' Perhaps, therefore, we may venture to 
connect with ' ke ' not only the Mongolian ' de,' but even the Uriya 
' te ' and the Singhalese ' ta,' which are commonly supposed to have 
a different origin from ' ku ' and ' ghai.' 

In the Finnish family of languages the Turko-Dra vidian dative 
re-appears ; — though the Finnish proper has ' le,' not ' ke.' 

In the Irtish and Surgutish dialects of the Ostiak the suffix of the 
dative is ' ga,' corresponding to the Oriental Turkish ' ga ' or ' ge.' 
The ordinary Ostiak has also ' a,' softened, as in the Oriental Turkish 


itself, from ' ga.' Compare also the Mordwin adesdve suffix 'va' 
or ' ga.' 

The most interesting and remarkable analogies are those which 
have been brought to light by the Scythian tablets of Behistun. We 
learn from those tablets that a dative suffix, which is almost identical 
with the Dravidian, and also with the Turkish and Ostiak, was used 
by the oldest Scythian dialect of Central Asia of which any remains 
are extant. The dative case-sign or suffix which is most largely used 
in the Scythic tablets is ' ikki ' or ' ikka.' Mr. Norris noticed the 
resemblance of this suffix to the Magyar genitive-dative ' nek ' and 
the Telugu genitive post-position ' yokka ; ' but its resemblance to the 
dative suffix of the Telugu and of the other Dravidian dialects is 
closer and more reliable. 

The ' Tamil ' ku ' becomes, as we have seen, ' akku ' or ' ukku ' 
in construction ; the Canarese ' ge ' becomes ' ige,' and the Malayala 
'kka' becomes 'ikka;' which last form of the suffix is identical, 
letter for letter, with the Scythian of Behistun. Compare, e.g., the 
Cuneiform Scythian ' ni-ikka ' or ' ni-ikki,' to thee, with the cor- 
responding Malayala ' nani-kka,' and the Telugu ' ni-kn.' 

It has thus been shown that the principal languages of the 
Scythian family accord very exactly with the Dravidian languages in 
the use of ' ka,' ' ki,' ' kn,' or some related particle, as the suffix of 
the dative. 

It may be noticed also, that in the language of the Malays there is 
a prefix, ' ko * or ' ka,' which signifies to or for, and that there is a 
similar preposition even in Russian. 

It is difficult to determine whether the Finnish dative suffix ' le ' 
has any connexion with ' ke.' It certainly seems much more closely 
connected with the Tibetan, Pushtoo, and Marathi dative suffix 'la;' 
— which '\k' is evidently equivalent to the New Persian ' ra.' 
[Compare, e.g., the Marathi ' tu-14,' to thee, thee, with the corresponding 
New Persian ' to-ra.'] 

The Malayalam alone of all the Dravidian dialects appears to 
possess two suffixes of the dative, viz., 'kka,' which is the suffix most 
largely used, and ' inna,' ' na,' or ' a,' which is occasionally used in 
the dative singular only. This ' inna ' is a compound form; and is 
evidently euphonized and softened from ' in-ka.' The Tamil is fond 
of adding to the base of nouns which are to be declined the euphonic 
increment ' in ' (originally a genitive), before suffixing the signs of 
case. The same practice prevails in Malay&lam also. Consequently, 
this exceptional Malayala dative is not ' inna' or ' na,' but is simply 
'a;' and the doubled 'n' which sometimes precedes it (e.g., 'awanna,' 


228 THE NOUN. 

to him) is an euphonic compensation for the loss of the ' k.' The *k' 
or ' g ' of ' kfi' or 'ga' has been softened away in some dialects of' 
the Turkish and Ostiak, precisely as in Malayalam. 

The cMative of motion or 'fifth'' ease. — This case appears to have 
been included in the list of cases by Dravidian grammarians out of 
deference to the grammatical principles of the Sanscrit. 

It is true, that if we look at the construction and meaning of a 
Dravidian sentence, the signification, of an ' ablative of raption ' will, - 
be found to exist; and it will be found to be expressed much mol-e 
clearly even than in Sanscrit : but a distinction is to be drawn betweeii 
the existence of a case and the existence of a case-sign, or regulai;,. 
technical suffix of case. The Dravidian languages have undoubtedly 
an ' ablative of motion,' and a great many other ablatives besides ; 
but I doubt whether they have any case-suffix which belongs exclu- » 
sively to the ablative of motion. 

On comparing the suffixes of the ablatives of motion (which are also 
used sometimes in an instrumental sense) with those of the locatives in 
the various dialects of this family, no real difference is apparent between, 
the one class and the other; or at least, no adequate reason appears 
for regarding them as distinct and independent suffixes; for whatever 
difference does exist is to be attributed, not to the signs of case, but to ; 
the verbs or verbal participles which are annexed to them. The 
object of the ablative of motion is to furnish an answer to the 
question, whencel and this answer is obtained in the Dravidian tongues, 
by suffixing to a noun of place the sign of the locative, and annex- 
ing 'to that sign a verb of motion. By this means the locative is 
converted into what is called the ablative, without changing its case- 
suffixes, and the idea of change of place is thus naturally and neces-, 
sarily educed. Native Tamil grammarians appear to hold that ' il,' 
the ordinary suffix of the abln.tive, and ' il,' the most largely used sign,: 
of the locative in the colloquial dialect, though written and pronounced, 
alike, are different particles with different significations. I am per- 
suaded, however, that this view is erroneous; and that a natural 
system of case classification would determine that the Dr4vidiani 
languages have no ablative, properly so called, but only a variety of, 
locative and instrumental suffixes, which are capable of beoominge 
iblatives by the addition of appropriate verbs. r. 

In Tamil, the suffixes which are used in forming the ' fifth ' case, or 
iblatives of motion, are ' il ' and 'in.' 'il' (Tel. 'illu') signifies by, 
tself a house, a place, e.g., ' k6-(v)-il,' a temple, God's house; and it is, 
he.vefore .well suited for beqoming a sign of the locative. Accordingly 


it has a place in the list of locative suffixes, as well as in those of the 
ablative; and in the colloquial dialect it is used as a sign of the 
locative far more frequently than any other particle. 

The other suffix, ' in,' is identical, I conceive, with ' ira,' the Old 
Canarese sign of " the instrumental : it is used as an instrumental in 
Tamil also; but probably both that 'im' and 'in' were previously 
locative suffixes, and were originally suffixes of the genitive. In 
Canarese the proper suffix of the ablative is 'attanim,' which is itself 
foi-nied from the demonstrative adverb 'attana' (identical with 
' attal-u ' or ' atta,' there, or ' attal,' that side), by the addition of' 
' im,' the old instrumental suffix, from which ' inda,' the more modern 
suffix, is derived; and this 'inda,' though the ordinary sign of the 
instrumental, is also ordinarily used, with, the addition of a verb of 
motion, as the sign of the ablative. Whilst I think that not only ' il,' 
but also 'in' aiid ' im,' were originally locative suffixes, it is more 
difficult to determine whether 'il' and 'in' were originally identical 
in sound and signification, as well as in application. 

In every instance in which ' il ' is used in Tamil, ' in ', may be 
substituted for it poetically ; and it is almost exclusively by the poets 
that ' in ' is used. Moreover, in Telugn, ' illu,' a house, identical with 
' il,' is euphonized into ' in,' in the inflexion ' inti,' of a house. On 
the other hand, ' il ' and ' im ' do not seem to have been regarded by 
the Canarese as identical ; for ' il ' is in that dialect ' li,' the base of 
the demonstrative local suffixes ' alii ' and ' illi,' which are used as 
signs of the locative exclusively, whilst 'in', is in Canarese 'im' 
(modernized into ' inda), and though possibly a locative in its origin, 
is used not as a locative, but as an instrumental and ablative. Besides 
this, if we regard ' in ' as originally a locative, it will be found to 
have a far wider range of analogies than ' il,' and may therefore be 
concluded to have sprung from a different root. ' In Finnish and 
Maigyar we find ' an,' ' en,' and still more frequently ' in,' used as 
si'gus of the locative. Even in Sanscrit we find ' in ' used as a loca- 
tive case-sign of pronouns of the third person, e.g., ' tasmin,' in him; 
and though this ' in ' may have been euphonized from ' i,' yet in the 
Latin locative preposition ' in ' and the G-reek ' ^v,' corresponding to 
th6 Sanscrit ' ni,' we find the existence of a very remarkable analogy, 
'il,' on the other hand, has no apparent affinities out of the pale of 
the Dravidian family. 

It seems probable that ' in,' one of the signs of the locative in 
Tamil, is identical with 'in,' a sign of the genitive, or inflexional 
increment, in Tamil-Canarese : and if so, a new and very wide range 
of affinities is disclosed, as will be seen when the case-signs of the 

230 THE NOUN. 

genitive are inquired into. ' atta/ which is often used in Tamil as a 
locative, is undoubtedly a genitive suflSx, and this shows the possi- 
bility of the use of ' in ' as a locative being derived from its use as a 

The Tamil ' il ' and ' in " agree in this, that when they are used 
as suffixes of the ablative, they both require to be followed by verbs 
of motion. In the spoken dialect of the Tamil, the verb of motion is 
preceded by the verbal participles ' nindru,' standing, or ' irundij,' 
heing. The use of these participles strengthens the supposition that 
' il '■ and " in ' are properly to be regarded as locatives. In the 
higher dialect, however, they are ordinarily dispensed with, and ' il ' or 
'in' is followed by a verb of motion alone; e.g., ' malei-(y)-in virum 
aruvi,' the cataract which fqlh from the mountain. In this expression 
the idea of ' motion from a place ' is plainly implied in the aoristic 
relative participle ' virum,' which falls ; and hence ' in,' whatever it 
may have been in origin, acquires the force of a sign of the ablative of 

In Canarese the compound ablative suffixes ' attanim ' and 
'adeseyinda' are not so commonly used as 'inda,' the terminal 
member of the second compound suffix; and though 'inda' is des- 
cribed to be the sign of the instrumental, I have no doubt that it is 
identical with ' im ' and ' in,' and a locative in its origin. ' inda ' is 
not only used by itself to form the ablative, but is also added to ' alii ' 
or ' illi,' the sign of the locative, for the purpose of denoting the 
ablative. Compare the Canarese ' alHnda " or ' illinda,' from, with 
the corresponding Tamil compound ' il-irundu ' or ' il-nindru.' 

In Telugu the particle ' na,' which corresponds to the Tamil ' in ' 
and the Old Canarese ' im,' is more distinctively a locative than an 
ablative of motion. This particle is 'ni' after 'i;' and if this is its 
normal form it may at once be identified with the Tamil ' in.' 

The Telugu ablative of motion is ordinarily formed by means of 
the verbal participle ' nundi ' or ' nunchi ' alone, without the aid of 
any such suffix as ' na ' or ' ni,' ' il ' or ' in ; ' consequently this 
ablative has still less of the character of an independent case than in 
Tamil and Canarese. A locative particle, however, viz., ' 16,' which 
corresponds to the Tamil ' il ' or ' ul ' and the Canarese ' 61,' is often 
suffixed in Telugu to the noun of place (precisely as ' il ' or 'in' is in 
Tamil), before the addition of the verbal participle ' nundi.' This 
l)aniciple is properly ' unchi,' from a verb signifying to place, which 
has been euphonised by prefixing to it the nasal ' n.' It corresponds 
in use, though not in origin, to the participle 'nindru,' from 'nil,' 
to stand, which is used by the Tamil. 


The genitive, or 'sixth' case. — The genitive or possessive case is 
formed in the Dravidian languages in various ways and by means of 
various suffixes, each of which requires to be examined separately. 

(1.) The abbreviated pronominal ffenitive. — The personal pronouns of 
the Tamil form their ' inflexion,' or ordinary genitive, by shortening 
the included vowel of the root ; e.g., ' ni ' (properly ' nin '), thou, 
' nin,' thi/; 'nam,' we, 'nSm,' our. This shortened form has the force 
of a genitive in Tamil without any suffix or addition whatever, though 
it is often strengthened by the addition of a suffix in the other dialects : 
e.g., in the Canarese it requires to have a genitive suffix appended to 
it, and of itself is merely an inflexional basis. It may be worth 
noticing that in the Scythian of the Behistun tablets the nominative of 
the pronoun of the second person is long, viz., 'ni,' whilst the inflex- 
ional form and enclitic possessive ' ni ' is short, precisely as in Tamil- 

We shall best understand the Origin and force of this peculiar form 
of the genitive of personal pronouns, by considering it as a pronominal 
adjective. Every Dravidian noun of quality or relation becomes an 
adjective on being prefixed to a noun-substantive for the purpose of 
qualifying it ; and ordinarily the only changes which it undergoes on 
becoming an adjective are such petty euphonic changes as are intended 
to facilitate the combined enunciation of the two words. The change 
in the quantity of the personal pronoun, to which I have now referred, 
appears to have this origin alone : it is simply euphonic, and euphony 
is certainly promoted by this conversion of a long vowel into a short 
one prior to the addition of the case-suffixes, or of the governing sub- 
stantive. We find a similar euphonic shortening of the quantity of 
the vowel of the root, on the conversion of the abstract noun into an 
adjective, in the section on 'Numerals;' e.g., 'anu,' Tam., six, ' Shu- 
hadu,' sixfr/ ; ' ein,' seven, ' Sruhadu,' seventi/. The principle which is 
involved in both classes of instances is precisely the same. 

(2.) The neuter inflexional genitive. — The neuter inflexions ' attu,' 
' attru,' ' ti,' ' ti/ &c., are largely used in forming the genitive in 
Tamil and Telugu. 

The various suffixes which are used to form the ' inflexion ' were 
originally, I conceive, signs of the possessive case : but iu process of 
time they have come to convey either a possessive or an adjectival sig- 
nification, according to the connexion ; and in many cases, as has been 
shown, they have shrunk into inflexional increments of the base, or 
become mere euphonic links of connexion between the base and the 
case-Buffix. The inflexion which is now under consideration is in 

232 THE NOUN. 

Taiiiil 'attii/ and is used by the singular of neuter nouns alone. 
'aRRu,' pronounced ' attru,' is occasionally used by neuter pronominal 
plurals. The same inflexion, for I believe I have shown it to be the 
same, is in Telugu ' ti ' or 'ti.' 

The inflexional suffixes being, as I conceive, genitive or possessive 
suffixes in their origin, their adjectival use naturally flowed from their 
use in forming possessives. There is little difference in signification 
between the genitive and the adjective {e.g., ' a mountain of gold' and 
' a golden mountain ' come to the same thing) ; and in several lan- 
guages besides the Dravidian, the adjectival formative either appears 
to have been derived from the possessive suffix, or to be identical with 
it. Thus, in Tamil, it matters little whether ' kiilattu min ' (from 
' kulam,' a tatik, and 'vam,' fish) be translated adjectivally tanhfish, or 
genitivally the fish of the tank; whether we render 'attru manal' 
(from ' aRu,' a river, and ' manal,' sand), the sand of the river or 
river sand; or whether ' mattu-(t)-t61 ' (from ' madn,' an ox, and 
' tol,' hide '), be translated ox hide or the hide of an ox. The adjectival 
rendering is ordinarily the more natural one, but if a few words be 
added to the compound expression, so as to bring out the full force of 
the inflexional suffixes, it will be evident that those suffixes must have 
been signs of case, or genitives, originally, and that their adjectival 
use is secondary to their use as signs of the possessive. 

Thus, when we say in Tamil, 'i-(k)kulattu min perugittru,' to 
render the sentence this tanhfish has increas-d, would n(,t only be bar- 
barous, but would partly- fail to express the meaning, which is, thejish 
of this tank have incredsed. In this instance it is evident that the 
suffix ' attu,' has in itself the force of a sign of the genitive, though 
capable of acquiring in certain connexions the force of an adjectival 
formative. So also, ' marattu (k)koppu,' can only be rendered the 
branch of a tree, and a tree-branch would be as barbarous as it is un- 
necessary. Moreover, this same suffix 'attu,' has sometimes in Tamil 
(as 'atta' in Malayalam) the force of a sign of the locative, like the 
corresponding inflexional suffixes in Telugu; and when used as a suffix 
of the locative, it is governed by a verb not by a noun ; from which 
it is absolutely certain that it is a case-suffix in origin. 

I have already mentioned the connexion which subsists between 
the inflexional suffix 'attu' and ' adu,' it, the neuter singular demon- 
strative pronoun. It is deserving of notice in this place that ' adu ' 
(the very same demonstrative, I doubt not) is one of the recognized 
suffixes of the possessive case in Tamil, and is occasionally used as a 
possessive in the other dialects also. Thuswemay say in Tamil either 
' marattu (k)koppu ' (from ' maram,' a tree, and ' koppu,' a branch)^ 

THE GENlTiVE. 233 

the branch of a tree, or ' marattinadu koppu' ('niar-attin-adu'). 'mar- 
araadu ' may also be used, though not in ordinary use, because in- 
euphonic ; but the possessive case-sign 'adu' is quite as frequently 
suffixed to the crude form of the noun, or the nominative, as to the 
oblique form : e.g., 'varei-(y)-adu param,' the fruit of the plaintain, is 
as common as ' varei-(y)-in-adu param,' and is even more elegant. 

I have no doubt of the identity of the 'adu ' of 'v&rei-(y)-adu' and 
the 'attu' of 'marattu' in origin. The old crude base of ' maram,' a 
tree, is 'mara,' as found in Canarese, the final 'am' or 'm' being a 
formative; and on 'adu,' the sign of the possessive (originally a 
demonstrative) being added to ' mara,' we shall have 'maradu,' of a 
tree (in Canarese 'marada'); of which the ' d ' has only to be doubled 
(as it is colloquially by the Tamil people, many of whom say 'attu* 
for ' adu '), when the word becomes ' marattu,' the Very fof m in which 
we now find it. 

In Telugu, the inflexional suffixes ' ti ' and ' ti ' are used without 
any additional particle as signs of the possessive or genitive, even 
more frequently than in Tamil. The post-position 'yokka' is but 
seldom added to it, and needs not ever be added. In Telugu also the 
connexion subsisting between this suffix and the neuter demonstrative 
pronoun is still more obvious than in Tamil, 'adi,' it, is systematically 
puffixed in Telugu to nouns and pronouns, to convert them into posses- 
sives \e.g., ' varidi,' their or their' s), and the relation subsisting between 
' adi ' (or ' di,' as it is in some instances) and ' ti ' or ' ti,' is very 

In Canarese the corresponding particles' 'ad' and 'ar,' though 
used as inflexional increments of the base, prior to the addition of 
several of the signs of case to certain classes of nouns, have not now 
of themselves a possessive signification. Their present use is purely 
euphonic, and does not contribute to grammatical expression. 

Nouns in which 'ad' and 'ar' are introduced form their posses- 
sives in ' ada ' and ' ara ;' and in these forms the final ' a ' is that 
which contains and conveys the possessive signification. ' ad ' and 
' ar ' have only the same incremental or euphonic force in ' ad-a ' and 
' ar-a.' that ' in ' has in ' in-a,' which is a corresponding Canarese 

. (3.) The neuler-demonstratwe genitives. — ' adu,' it, and its euphoi 
nically lengthened equivalent ' adu,' are often used, especially in 
classical Tamil, as signs of the possessive, and they are ranked by 
native grammarians amongst genitive case-signs. ' adu ' is the neuter 
singular demonstrative (derived from 'a,' the remote demonstrative 

234 THE KOUN. 

base, and ' d,' the sign of the neuter singular). Its meaning when 
standing alone is invariably that of a demonstrative pronoun, but by 
usage it has acquired the signification of a genitive or possessive, when 
annexed to any noun as a suffix. ' avan-adu,' is literally he — that, 
but by usage it means his. This use of 'adu,' as a possessive suffix, is 
derived from its use as the formative of nouns of possession. 

By the addition of this demonstrative to any noun or pronoun 
(generally it is added to the inflexion, — in the case of pronouns it is 
always to the inflexions that it is added) a compound noun of posses- 
sion or relation is formed, which, lilie all Dravidian nouns of relation, 
is capable of being used as an adjective ; and it is the use of nouns 
with this termination as possessive adjectives which has led to ' adu, 
and its equivalents, being regarded as signs of the possessive case. The 
noun to which ' adu ' is appended may be used, and often is used, 
without any addition or modification, as the nominative of a verb or 
a sentence. Thus, ' enadu,' Tam. (from ' en,' my, and ' adu,' that), 
signifies properly that (which is) mine; and this compound possessive 
may either be used adjectivally, e.^., 'enadu kei,'««y hand, literally the 
hand that is mine (in which instance 'adu' is called by grammarians 
a genitive case-sign) ; or it may be used as a possessive noun, and as 
such it becomes the nominative of a verb, e.ff., 'enadu poyittru,' mine 
(or my property) is gone. Thus 'adu,' which at first meant that, 
became secondly the formative of a possessive noun ('avan-adu,' that 
which is his, literally he — that), thirdly the formative of a possessive 
adjective (' avan-adu,' his), and lastly a sign of the possessive case gene- 
rally, signifying ofov hblonying to. Another reason for regarding the 
genitive case-sign ' adu ' as originally and properly the formative of a 
noun or adjective of possession, is that it cannot be followed indiscri- 
minately by any kind of noun, but by neuter nouns alone, and properly 
by the neuter singular alone. Thus we may say ' enadu kei,' my 
hand, but not 'enadu keigal,' my hands; except indeed in the colloquial 
dialect, in which the singular is used for the plural more frequently 
than in the higher dialect, or by the poets. 

The higher dialect would prefer in this instance 'ena keigal,' — 'ena' 
instead of 'enadu,' i.e., '■ mea' instead of 'meum.' 'adu' is not only 
a formative, therefore, but is distinctively a neuter singular formative, 
employed to give a possessive signification to the noun to which it is 
suffixed. Like all other nouns, these possessive nouns in ' adu ' are 
capable of being used as adjectives, by being prefixed without altera- 
tion to other nouns ; and when so prefixed, 'adu' came to be used and 
regarded as a possessive case-sign. This explanation seems to account 
for all the phenomena, and therefore to be the true explanation. 


A similar use of the neuter singular of the demonstrative as a pes. 
sessive suffix obtains in Telugu also ; e.g., ' nadi,' mine, literally that 
(which is) mine, from 'na/ my, and 'adi/ that, a form which is exactly 
equivalent to the Tamil ' enadu.' The Telugu uses a similar suffix to 
forma plural possessive to correspond with 'enadu' or 'nadi,' viz., 
'vi,' which bears the same relation to ' avi' those (things), which 'di' 
does to 'adi,' that (thing); e.g., ' varivi,' theirs or the (things which 
are) theirs. In this respect the Telugu acts more systematically than 
the spoken Tamil. It is not so fond, however, of using these posses- 
sive nouns adjectivally as the Tamil, and therefore ' di ' and ' vi ' have 
not in Telugu come to be regarded as case-signs of the genitive. 

The Canarese and the Tamil not only form neuter possessive nouns 
and adjectives by adding to them the neuter demonstrative, but they 
form also masculine and feminine possessives, or possessive appellatives, 
of both numbers, by adding the masculine and feminine formatives to 
the genitive case or ' inflexion ' of nouns and pronouns. 

All the Di'avidian dialects agree in appending the demonstrative- 
possessive suffixes to the inflexion not to the nominative, as a general 
rule, wherever the nominative diflers considerably from the inflexion. 
When nouns receive in Tamil a double inflexional increment, e.g., 
' attu ' and ' in ' (in combination ' attin '), the possessive suffix is 
added to this double increment, e.g., ' mar-attin-adu koppu,' the 
hrcmch of a tree. 

(4.) The possessive suffix 'in,' and its varieties. — ' in,' in Tamil, 
and * ni,' in Telugu, and corresponding particles in the other dialects, 
are not only used as inflexional augments of the base and euphonic 
bonds of connexion between the base and the ease-signs, but also as 
suffixes of the possessive and as adjectival formatives. I have no 
doubt that ' in ' and ' ni,' of themselves and originally, were genitive 
or possessive suffixes, and that every other use to which they have 
been applied grew out of their use as signs of the genitive. Native 
Tamil grammarians do not include 'in' amongst their genitive suffixes, 
but describe it as a formative augment or adjectival increment alone : 
but on comparing its use in Tamil with its use in the other dialects, I 
am convinced that it was originally and distinctively a sign of the geni- 
' tive, and that it is still to be regarded, notwithstanding its subsidiary 
uses, as one of the most characteristic of the genitive suffixes. 

In Tamil, of all genitive case-signs, 'in ' is that which is most fre- 
quently used. * a.ttu ' is used in the neuter singular alone, and 'aEKu' 
('attru') in the neuter plural alone; but 'in' is used in connexion 
witli both numbers and with all genders. A similar use of 'in' appears 

236 THE NOUN. 

in the Malayalam. Id Canarese, on the other hand, ' in ' is used only 
as an inflexional augment, not as a sign of case. One of the so-called' 
declensions of the Canarese is said by grammarians to take ' ina ' as 
its genitive case- sign ; but in this instance the final 'a' is the real 
sign of the genitive, as it invariably is in Canarese ; and this genitive 
'a' is found to be preceded by various euphonic increments — 'in,' 
'ad,* 'ar,' or 'v,' according to circumstances. 

Doubtless, the 'in' of 'in-a,' was a genitive suffix originally, but it 
has long ceased to contribute to grammatical expression, and therefore 
cannot now be regarded as a sign of case. In Telugu, 'na' or 'ni,' 
the dialectic equivalent of 'in,' is used as a possessive suffix, as in 
Tamil, though not so frequently. The only difference in principle is 
that 'ni' is used in Telugu in connexiou with the singular alone, and 
might be called a genitive singular case-sign, if the Telugu stood in an 
isolated position ; whereas in Tamil it is used in connexion with plural 
nouns as frequently as with the singular. In Ku, which has special 
resemblances to the Telugu, 'ni' constitutes the inflexion (in reality 
the genitive) of all classes of nouns, whether singular or plural, pre- 
cisely like the Tamil 'in.' The Gond uses as genitive case-signs 'na^ 
and 'na,' 'da' and 'a' — forms which are probably allied one to 
another, as well as to the Brahui ' na,' and to the Telugu and Gond 
'ni,' and the Tamil 'in.' 

Though ' in ' is not regarded by Tamil grammarians as a sign of 
the genitive, yet when those particles which are regarded as genitive 
case-signs are suffixed to any noun, 'in' is ordinarily inserted between 
the noun and those case-signs ; so that all auxiliary or additional par- 
ticles are appended to this incremental 'in,' not to the noun itself ; 
e.g., from 'adu,' i^, is formed not 'ad'-udeiya/ but ' ad-in-udeiya,' of 
it ; from 'tanibi,' a younger hrofhe.r, is formed not ' tambi-(y)-adu,' 
but more commonly • tambi-(y)-in-adn,' of a younger iroiJier : and this 
rule seems to indicate that 'in' is more essentially a genitive case-sign 
than the genitive particles which have subsequently been suffixed to it. 
The same inference is still more clearly deducible from the circumstance 
that in a large number of instances, both in the singular and in the 
plural, each of the case-suffixes in succession is appended, not to the 
crude form of the noun, but to the increment 'in.' These case-suffixes 
are not mere post-positional fragments, but were, or are still, bouns of 
relation; and 'in,' the particle by which they are united to the base, 
serves as a bond of connexion, in virtue, as I conceive, of its own ori- 
ginal and natural signification as a suffix of the genitive.- Thus, in the 
colloquial Tamil, 'kalliuidattil ('kal(l)-in-idattir), in a stone, 'idat- 
til, the local ablative or locative suffix, literally means in tJie place ; 


and this suffix evidently requires, cr at least desires, the possessive 
' in' (with the signification of) to connect it with the base. Hence ' kal(l)- 
in-idattil,' literally signifies in the place of {or occupied})!/) a stone. 

The adjectival meaning of 'in,' though not its only or original 
meaning, is one which is recognised by native grammarians, and which 
they prove by examples ; e.g., 'ponnin ' ('pon(n)-in') kudam, a golden 
vessel. This adjectival use of 'in' i^ not only allied to, but is derived 
from, its use as a sign of the genitive, and in the illustration which has 
now been adduced it is evident that 'ponnin kudam,' might be rendered 
with equal propriety, a vessel of gold. It will be found also in the 
Indo-European analogies which will presently be adduced, that the 
similarity or identity of the adjectival formative, and the genitive case- 
sign which is apparent in this instance, has a wider range than that of 
the'Dravidian languages. 

There is another particle resembling 'in,' and possibly identical 
with it in origin, viz., 'am,' which is occasionally used in Tamil for 
both those purposes, and, like 'in,' it is -sometimes appended to the 
noun itself, and sometimes to the neuter inflexion. We see this fusion 
of the adjectival and the genitive signification of 'am,' in such forms 
as 'alam ('al-am') pu,' the banyan flower or the flower of the hanyan, 
and 'attrang karei' ('attru/ the inflexion of 'aRu,' a river), the river- 
hank or the banJc of the river. Evidently 'attram' (before the 'k' of 
'karei' 'am' changes into 'ang') is equivalent to 'attr-in' (a form which 
is also commonly used), and 'am' to 'in;' and as 'am' or 'an' and 
'in,' are identical in meaning, though not used with equal frequency, 
and so nearly alike in- sound, I think we may safely regard them all 
as sprung from one and the same origin. ' am,' indeed, changes by rule 
nto 'an,' when it is followed by a dental, e.g., ' panan ' ('panei-am') 
.oppn,' a palmyra tope. The same adjectival formative is much used 
in Malaysia also; eg., 'mal-am puli ' ('mala-am puli '), a mountain 
tiger or a tiger of the mountain, a royal tiger. 

We have now to inquire whether any trace of the genitive case- 
sign or adjectival formative in ' in,' ' an,' ' ni,' or any related form^ 
can be found beyond the circle of the Dravidian dialects. 

Of all the North-Indian vernaculars the Gujarathi is the only one 
which contains a form of the genitive resembling that which we have 
been, examining. That language has a genitive suffix in 'n' ('no,' 
'ni,' ' num'), which cannot but be regarded as allied to the Telugu 
' ni,' ' nu,' &c. In the language of the Bodos, a Himalayan tribe, the 
pronominal genitive is regularly formed by suffixing 'ni,' e.g., 'ang-ni,' 
of me, 'nang-ni,' o/<Aee, ' bi-ni,' of him. 

In Sanscrit the 'n' which precedes the 'ah,' or 'as,' of certain 

238 THE NOUN. 

genitives is undoubtedly euphonic; but both in Sanscrit and in other 
members of the Indo-European family, we may observe distinct traces 
of the adjectival or genitival use of a particle of which the consonant 
'n' is the most essential element. Compare with the Dravidian 
particle ' an-a,' the Sanscrit adjectival formative, and ' an,' the suffix 
of appellatives; the Greek possessive suffix 'oiv;' the adjectival use of 
' iv' in Greek words like ' \i0-iv-o9,' and of ' en,' in the Germanic 
' woodew; and also 'in,' the Sanscrit suffix of agency, which is pre- 
served in the adjectives of the New Persian. These forms are, it is 
evident, reciprocrally related ; and it also appears probable that there 
is some ulterior relationship between them and the Tamilian ' in.' There 
are also traces in the Indo-European family of languages of the use of 
' in ' as a distinctively genitival suffix. The Celtic forms its genitive 
systematically by means of ' n,' ' an,' ' en,' &c. ; nor is it the genitive 
plural only of the Celtic dialects which uses this case-sign (as in the 
Sanscrit family), but it is employed to form the genitive singular also. 
It should be noticed too that in the ancient Egyptian ' n ' (alternating 
with ' m ') was used to express all case-relations, but particularly 
that of the genitive. Compare also the Sanscrit genitive or possessive 
' mama ' (' ma-ma ') of me, my, with the Zend ' mana,' the Old Per- 
sian 'mana,' and the Gothic 'meina,' mine, 'theina,' thine, 'seina,' 
Ids; in each of which examples the final ' na,' or its Sanscrit equiva- 
lent ' ma,' resembles the Dravidian ' in ' or ' ni,' not only in sound, 
but also in the union of an adjectival signification with that of the 
possessive or genitive case. 

The Lithunian goes further than any other Indo-European tongue 
in resemblance to the Tamil in this point, for it not only uses ' n ' as 
a sign of the pronominal possessive (of the first person), but it adopts 
this genitival ' man ' as the infle::£ional base of all the rest of the 
oblique cases of the same pronoun. 

In the languages of the Scythian stock we find a large number 
of still more essential analogies with the Dravidian genitival suffix 
'in' or 'ni.' 

Compare both with the Dr&vidian and with the Indo-European 
pos§essives the Mongolian and Manohu 'mini' ('mi-ni'), of me, my; 
and the Mongolian ' tchini ' and the Manchu ' sini ' (' si-ni '), of thee, 

In the languages of the Finnish family, the prevailing form of the 
genitive is that which corresponds to the Dravidian : it is ' n,' ' an,' 
' en,' ' un,' &c., not only in pronominal inflexions, but universally. 
Thus in Mordwin and Cheremiss, the genitive is formed by suffixing 
' n ' or ' en ;' e.g., 'kudo,' a house, ' kudo-n,' of a house. The genitive 


plural of the Mordwin is ' nen,' possibly a reduplication of ' n,' 
intended to g,ymbolise the plural; e.g., 'kndot-nen,' «/■ AoM«es. The 
Lappish genitive takes ' n ' or ' en ' in the singular, and ' i ' in the 
plural. ' e ' forms the ordinary possessive suffix of the Magyar. The 
Finnish proper forms the genitive by suffixing ' n,' ' un,' ' in,' ' an,' 
&G., e.^., 'mina' ('rain-a'), /, ' min-un,' of me, my. 

The prevailing form of the genitive in the Tartar or High Asian 
families, corresponds to ' nen,' the reduplicated suffix of the Mordwin 
plural, and to its equivalent reduplication in the Old Scythian of the 
Behistun tablets ; but whilst the reduplicated suffix is very frequently 
used, it systematically alternates with the simpler suffix. ' un' or ' in.' 
The Oriental Turkish forms its genitive by suffixing ' ning ' or 
' nin,' or ' ning ' or ' nin.' In the Ottoman Turkish the initial nasal 
is only occasionally used : the genitive plural is uniformly 'u»i;' the 
singular takes ' uji ' or ' nuw,' according as the noun to which it is 
suffixed ends in a consonant or in a vowel. In the Mongolian, the 
sign of the genitive is ' u ' after the consonant ' n ;' after every other 
consonant, ' un ;' and after a vowel, ' yin.' The personal pronouns, 
as has already been observed, from their possessive by suffixing 
' ni,' e.g., ' mi-ni,' my. Compare the Mongolian ' kol-un,' of the foot, 
with the ordinary Tamil genitive of the corresponding noun ' kal-in,' 
of a foot. 

The Calmuck dialect of the Mongolian forms its genitive by 
suffixing ' i ' to nouns ending in ' n,' and ' yin ' to all other nouns. 
The Tibetan postfixes in like manner 'i ' or ' yin.' 

The Manchu makes much use of a possessive relative suffix ' ngge,' 
or 'ningge,' signifying wMcTi has; but it also forms genitives, pro- 
perly so called, by suffixing ' ni ' or ' i.' 

In the language of the Scythian tablets of Behistun, the genitive 
was ordinarily formed by suffixing ' na :' the first personal pronoun 
formed its genitive by suffixing a reduplicated form of this particle, 
' ni-na,' e.g., 'hu-ni-na,' of me; whilst the genitive plural was generally 
formed by means of the addition of ' inna,' probably softened from 
'ni-na.' The nearest direct resemblance to the Behistun-Scythian 
genitival ' na,' is the Brahui ' na,' and the Gond ' na ' or ' a.' 

This interesting record of the speech of the ancient Scythians, 
furnishes us, I think, with a clue to the origin of 'nuji' or 'nim,' the 
Tartar genitive suffix. In the Tartar tongues 'nuw' is interchange- 
able with and equivalent to 'um;' and 'un' or 'in' is also inter- 
changeable with ' ni ' or ' nu ;' in Mongolian, ' yin ' and ' un ' are 
suffixed to substantives, ' ni ' to the personal pronouns. It appears 
from the Behistun tablets that ' na,' the ordinary genitive suffix, was 

240 THE NOUK. 

sometimes euphonically changed into ' ni-ua,' and that this again was 
softened into ' inna.' I conceive that the Tartar ' uji, was in this 
same manner, by the reduplication of the nasal, converted into ' nun;' 
which in Manchu became ' ngge ' or ningge.' Possibly also ' ni ' or 
'nu' was nasalised by the addition of a final 'to' or 'ng,' of the use 
of which we have an instance in point in the final euphonic ' n ' of the 
first and second personal pronouns in most of the Scythian languages. 
A parallel instance of the reduplication of a nasal is apparent in tfie 
Telugu itself, in the conjunctive or copulative particle. This particle 
is 'um' in Tamil, 'ii' in Cauarese, and 'nu' in Telugu; but this 
Telugu ' nu ' becomes euphonically ' nnu,' and by reduplication 
'nunnu' in particular instances. ",■-; 

(5.) The genitival suffix 'a.' — This sign of the genitive or possessive 
claims to be regarded as equally with ' in ' or ' ni,' a distinctively 
Dravidian suffix. It is little used in Tamil, though placed first in the 
list of genitive case-signs by Tamil grammarians; but if we take all 
the Dravidian idioms into consideration, it is perhaps more largely 
used than any other suffix of the genitive — a proof of the accuracy 
of the Tamil classification. 

I conceive this sufiix to be identical with 'a,' the formative of the 
most frequently used Dravidian relative participles (see the section 
on 'The Verb'), but totally distinct from 'a,' the neuter particle of 
pluralisation, which has already been investigated. 

In Canarese ' a ' is the only sign of the genitive which is ever 
used. It is sometimes preceded by an euphonic consonant, which is 
inserted between it and the base, to form a link of connection between 
them, viz., by ' v ' or 'y,' the use of which is purely of an euphonic 
nature, and by ' in,' ' ad',' or ' ar',' which are inflexional increments 
of the base, and old petrified genitives; e.g., ' guru-(v)-a,' of a priest; 
' kuri-(y)-a,' of a sheep; ' kus-in-a,' of a child; ' mar-ad-a,' of a tree; 
'ad-ar-a,' of that {thing), or of it. When this genitive ' a' is added 
to the abbreviated inflexional form of the Canarese personal pronouns, 
the final nasal of those pronouns is doubled, e.g., ' nanna ' (from 
'nan,' J), of me; 'namma' (from 'nam,' we), of us. A comparison 
of these forms with the Tamil and Tulu ' nama,' of us, our, proves 
that the doubling of the final nasal arises from an euphonic source. 
' a ' forms the genitive suffix not only of the singular of Canarese 
nouns and pronouns, but also of the plural, whether the noun belongs 
to the ' rational ' or to the ' irrational ' class, e.g., " avar-a,' of them 
(epicene), ' avugal-a,' of them (neuter). 

These examples prove that 'a' is the true Canarese genitive case- 


sign : and it is also to be noted that this case-sign is never used, like 
'in' in Tamil, as the common fulcrum of the suffixes of all the 
oblique cases, but is used solely as the case-sign of the genitive. 

In Tulu ' a ' forms the genitive of by far the larger proportion of 
nouns. In many instances it is preceded by 'd' or 't:' but this 
consonant is merely the equivalent of the Canarese ' ad,' vrhich has 
already been referred to ; and in the genitive of the personal pronouns 
' a ' is preserved purer in Tulu than in Canarese. Thus, instead of 
the Canarese ' nanna,' of me, the Tulu has ' yan-a * (for ' nan-a '), 
and instead of ' ninna,' of thee, it has ' nin-a.' 

The language of the Kotas of the Nilgherry hills forms all its 
genitives by suffixing ' a.' 

In Telugu ' a ' forms the plural inflexion or genitive of all sub- 
stantive nouns without exception, 'lu,' the pluralising particle, is 
changed into 'la;' and as the 'u' of 'lu' is added merely to facili- 
tate enunciation, and ' 1 ' alone constitutes the suffix of the plural, it 
is evident that the ' a ' of ' la ' is a suffix of case. As the plural 
inflexion, ' a ' constitutes the fulcrum to whinh the other case-signs, or 
suffixes of the oblique cases, are added; and as the genitive plural, it 
expresses the signification of the genitive, without any auxiliary or 
additional particle. The Telugu personal pronouns use their crude 
bases adjectivally a,s their inflexion and genitive. The pronouns of 
the third person, or the demonstratives, generally form their genitives 
both in the singular and in the plural by adding 'i' to the root : in 
the singular a few of them suffix ' ni,' as is done by the greater number 
of nouns in the singular. One of the Telugu pronouns uses ' a ' both 
in the singular and in the plural, as the sign of the genitive, in com- 
plete accordance with the Canarese and Tulu. The genitive of the 
reflexive pronouns ' tan-u,' self, ' tam-u,' selves, is formed in Telugu 
by shortening the quantity of the radical vowel and suffixing ' a,' as 
in Canarese ; e.g., 'tan-a, ' of self , 'taip-a,' of selves. The adjectival 
'a' of some Telugu substantives is evidently identical with this 
genitival ' a ;' e.g., ' ur-a kavi,' a village poet or a poet of the village. 

In Tamil, though ' a ' is placed first in the list of genitive suffixes, 
it is less used than any other sign of the genitive, and indeed is used 
only as the classical genitive of the personal and refiexive pronouns ; 
e.g., 'nam-a,' ov/r (from 'nam,' we), like the Sanscrit 'mama,' my, 
and ' tava,' thy. 

It is difficult, indeed, to determine whether this suffix has retained 
in Tamil any genitival signification whatever. Whether it be attached 
to a singular or to a plural pronoun, it must be followed by, and be in 
agreement with, a neuter plural noun ; and this circumstance would 

242 . THE NOUN. 

lead to the conclusion that in Tamil it is a suffix of plurality, not a 
sign of the genitive. On this supposition, in the words ' ena keigal,' 
my hands, ' ena ' would signify not ' mei,' of me, but ' mea,' {the 
things that are) mine. It would be a pronominal adjective or posses- 
sive plural, not a genitive ; and the fact that' ' a ' is largely used in 
classical Tamil as a sign of the neuter plural {e.g., 'sila,' few, 
literally a few things, ' pala ' many, literally many things), proves that 
this supposition would be a very natural one. 

On the other hand, ' a ' is classed with genitive suffixes by Tamil 
Grammarians themselves, and those grammarians, who are remarkably 
well acquainted with the principles of their own language, are perfectly 
aware that ' a ' is also a sign of the plural of ' irrationals'. Moreover, 
though it is stated by Tamil grammarians that the genitive in 'a' must 
always be in agreement with a plural noun, yet they admit that the 
noun with which it agrees is sometimes singular in form though plural 
in signification; e.g., the expression 'nun-a siB'adi,' thy small foot; 
occurs in the Chintamani. They say that foot is here used ioT feet, and 
this is certainly true ; but it does not follow that ' nun-a ' is determined 
thereby to be a plural, for the use of the singular with a plural signifi- 
cation, yet with the declensional and conjugational forms of the singular, 
is a fixed usage of these languages. 1 think, therefore, that we may con- 
fidently regard this ' nun-a ' as an illustration of the use of ' a,' even in 
Tamil, in connection with the singular. In Tamil, it is true, ' a ' is 
ordinarily followed by the neuter plural alone; but in Canarese and 
Telugu it may be followed by any gender or number; and the ' a' of 
the Tamil ' tan-a,' of self, is evidently identical with that of the corre- 
sponding Telugu ' tan-a;' whilst the ' a ' of ' nam-a,' of us, our, is evi- 
dently identical with the Canarese ' namra-a.' Hence, as the one 'a' is 
unquestionably a genitive, so must the other have been originally; and 
thus we are led to the supposition that the Tamil rule which requires 
' a ' to be followed by the neuter plural is merely a secondary, 
recent, dialectic peculiarity, which has arisen from the influence of its 
accidental resemblance to the sign of the plural of 'irrationals.' This 
peculiarity of the genitival ' a ' in Tamil may be compared with the 
somewhat parallel case of the use in Hindustani of one possessive 
suffix rather than another, out of the three that exist in it, according 
to the gender of the noun which follows and governs that to which it 
is suffixed. 

Though in grammatical Tamil ' a ' is always followed by the 
plural, yet the vulgar in the rural districts commonly use it without 
discrimination of number, as in Canarese and Telugu. Thus, they 
will say ' nama ' (or more commonly, as in Canarese, ' namma ') ' ur,' 


our village; and this confirms the supposition that in Tamil, as in the 
other dialects, the original use of this ' a ' was simply that of a sufiix 
of the genitive. 

We have now to inquire with what language or family of languages 
this genitive suffix should be affiliated. There is no direct Scythian 
analogy for it, and the only affinities which I have observed are 
Kole and Indo-European. In the Ho, a Kole dialect, ' a' is a common 
possessive suffix ; and it is also, as in Tamil, an adjectival formative. 
The most direct and reliable Indo-European analogy is that which is 
presented by the personal pronouns, which in . some of the Indo- 
European dialects have a possessive in ' a,' strongly resembling this 
Dravidian possessive. If we look only at the Gothic ' meina,' my ; 
' theina,' thy; ' seina,' his or its; we should naturally conclude the 
sign of the possessive in these words to be, not ' a,' but ' na' (answer- 
ing to the Old Scythian and Brahui ' na ' and to the Telugu ' ni ') ; 
but on comparing the forms which this sign of the possessive assumes 
in various languages, it appears probable that ' a ' alone conveys the 
signification of the possessive; and that the nasal which precedes it in 
the Sanscrit 'mama,' the Zend 'mana,' and the Gothic 'meina,' may 
merely have been inserted euphonically for the purpose of keeping the 
contiguous vowels pure. Compare ' mama,' Sans, my, (from ' ma,' /), 
with ' tava,' thi/, (from ' tva,' thou); and especially compare the 
Crothic ' meina,' ' theina,' ' seina,' with the corresponding Lithuanian 
possessives ' mana-s,' ' tava-s,' ' sava-s.' In these instances ' v ' 
euphonic is used as the equivalent of 'n.' The Indo-European pro- 
nominal possessive in ' a ' is exceptional : for the primitive languages 
of that family evince an almost perfect agreement in the use of ' as,' 
or some closely related form, as the sign of the genitive singular, and 
of 'sam' or 'am,' as the sign of the genitive plural. In the later 
Teutonic dialects, however, a genitive case-sign in 'a' becojnes 
exceedingly common, and is found in the plural as well as in the 
singular. Thus in the Frisian all plural substantives and such 
singulars as end in a vowel form their possessive by suffixing ' a ' : in 
the Icelandic all plurals and all masculine and neuter singulars use 
'a' as their casersign; and in the AnglorSaxon all plurals. Though 
the oldest Gothic possessives accorded with the ordinary Sanscrit forms, 
5 as ' and ' am ;' yet the resemblance between the possessives of some 
of the Teutonic vernaculars and the Dravidian possessive is deserving 
of notice. The use of ' a ' as a sign of the possessive by all plural , 
substantives in Telugu is especially remarkable. Has the Dravidian 
' a ' under consideration been softened from ' as ' (of which, however, 
there is not the smallest trace or analogical probability) ? or ha? it 

H 2 

244 THE NOUN. 

been softened from ' na:,' the old Scythian suffix ? The latter suppo- 
sition, though unsupported by direct evidence, is not an improbable 
one ; for we have seen that the Gond ' na ' alternates with ' a ; ' the 
Scythian ' ni-na ' with Mnna;' the Turkish 'nun' with 'uwj' and 
'nuj' the Telugu particle of conjunction, with 'u,' its Canarese 

(G.) The Malaydla genitive singular siiffiip, 're' or'de.' — Inmost 
cases this Malayala genitive takes the shape of 'indre' or 'inde,' of 
which ' in ' is the genitival suffix and inflexional increment, which 
has already been described. In ' en-de,' my, the inflexional base is of 
itself a genitive, and the addition of ' in ' is not required ; hence it 
appears that ' de ' or ' dre ' is an auxiliary genitive suffix, like the 
' adu ' which is so often added to ' in ' in Tamil, and is probably from 
the same origin. This suffix is written 'Be;' but it is always added 
to ' n,' and when it is thus added, the compound is regularly pro-; 
nounced, not as ' nKe,' but as ' ndre ' or ' nde.' Neither the Tamil nor 
the Malayalam possesses any other method of producing the sound 
which is indicated by these letters (a peculiarly euphonic ' nd '), but 
that of conjoining the final ' n ' of those languages and the hard ' r;' 
which, when pronounced in combination, have the sound of ' ndr ' or, 
as some pronounce it, ' ndz,' or more commonly still ' nd.' Thus, from 
' en,' to say, and ' du,' the regular formative of the preterite participle^ 
the Canarese forms ' endu,' saying or having said; and this in Tamil is 
written ' euRU ;' but it would be erroneous ' to suppose ' ru ' to be 
the sign of the preterite in Tamil instead of ' du,' for ' euRu ' is 
intended to be, and is pronounced ' endu ' or ' endru,' nearly as in 

Hence some analogies to the Malayala ' Re ' (in reality ' de ') 
which might be suggested, appear at once to be illusory. The 
Malayala ' Re,' has been connected by Dr. Stevenson with ' the 
Canarese genitive' 'ra.' It has been shown that 'a,' not 'ra,' is the 
genitive suffix of the Canarese, and that the ' r' which precedes it is 
properly ' ar/ an inflexional increment (like ' ad ' and ' in'), which is 
inserted between the root and the case-signs of three cases, besides 
the genitive, of certain classes of nouns. The Malayala 'Be' (de), on 
the other hand, is suffixed exclusively to the genitive, and no other 
suffix of case is ever appended to it. Nevertheless, as I connect * de ' 
with the Tamil 'adu,' it; and aS with this I connect also the Canarese 
' ad' ' and its hardened form ' ar',' it may be admitted that in this 
modified and remote manner, the Malayala and the Canarese forms 
are allied. 


Still more illusory is the apparent resemblance of this Malayala 
'ne' or 'de' to the adjectival possessive suffixes of the Hindustani 
personal pronouns, 'ra'and 'ri' {e.g., 'mera,' mens, ' meii,' mea) ; to 
the corresponding New Persian inflexion ' ra,' {e.g., ' to-ra/ thy, thee) ; 
and to ' ra,' the Gothic genitive plural suffix of the personal pronouns 
(e.g., ' unsara/ our, ' izvara,' your), from which the final ' r ' of our 
English ' our ' and ' your ' has been derived. 

The Hindustani ' r,' is supposed by Bopp to be derived from ' d;' 
' mera,' meuis, being derived from the Sanscrit ' raadiya,' my;' but I 
cannot suppose that the Malayala form has any connexion whatever 
with the Hindustani and the Persian, except on the supposition that 
the ' d ' of the Tamil demonstrative neuter singular, ' adu,' is re- 
motely connected with the formative ' d ' of the Sanscrit possessive 

The Malayala ' de,' like the Tamil ' adu,' ie used as a genitive 
suffix of the singular alone, a confirmation of the opinion that it is 
derived from ' adu,' which in its original signification is the neuter 
singular of the demonstrative. In the genitive plural, the Malayalam 
uses ' ute,' answering to the colloquial Tamil ' udeiya ' (from ' udei '), 
hekmging to, of. Compare the Malayala 'enre,' 'endre,' or ' ende,' of 
me, with the corresponding Tamil ' enadu,' o/" me, that which is mine. 
The Malayala possessive noun mine, or that which is mine is ' endeta,' 
from ' en-de,' my, and ' ata,' it, corresponding to the Tamil ' enadu.' 
This latter ' enadu,' however, is not the genitive ' enadu,' my, with 
which I have compared ' en-de,' but a possessive noun in the nomina- 
tive case ; and though I suppose the Malayala ' de ' to be itself a 
corruption from ' ada' or 'ata,' it, yet the demonstrative suffix would 
be appended a second time, on the origin and true meaning of ' de ' 
being forgotten. We see illustrations of this repetition of an ancient 
suffix in many languages; e.g., 'malei-(y)-in-in,' High Tam. from a 
mountain; and this very demonstrative ' adu,' it, is twice used in the 
Tamil negative participial noun ' iW^disAu^ the thing which is not; in 
which the first ' d,' though a representative originally of the neuter 
singular demonstrative, has lost its proper signification, and become a 
mere euphonic, link of connection, or technical sign, in consequence of 
which ' d ' is required to be repeated, 

In Tulu the genitive of neuter nouns is commonly formed by 
suffixing 'd,' 'da,' or 'ta/ e.g., 'katti-da,' of a hnife, 'kei-ta,' ofalumd. 
The ' d ' of this ' da,' or ' ta,' is not, however, as in the Canarese, used 
as the inflexional base of any other case ; but is restricted to the 
genitive alone : hence it bears a close resemblance to the Malayala 
genitive suffix. 

246 THE NOUN. 

(7.) Aiuxiliart/ suffixiss of the genitive in Telugu and Tamil. 

(i.) In Telugu, ' yokka/ or ' yoka/ is sometimes appended to the 
inflexion, or natural genitive, as an auxiliary suflBx of case; e.g., from 
the ordinary possessive ' na,' my, is formed optionally, the equivalent 
form ' na-yokka,' my, of me. 

This suffix is rarely used, and seems foreign to the idiom of the 
language ; for no other pure Dravidian dialect possesses any suffix 
resembling it. 

A suffix somewhat resembling ' yokka,' is found in the Rajmahal 
and Uraon languages, which contain an overwhelming prepon- 
derance of K61 elements, though formed probably upon a Dravidian 

The possessive suffix of the Rajmahal is ' ki,' that of the Uraoa 
• ghi.' If these particles are at all connected with the Telugu 'yoka,' 
which seems doubtful, "we should be warranted in connecting the whole 
with the ordinary possessive or adjectival suffix of the Hindustani, the 
feminine of which is ' ki ' (masculine ' ka '), and through that suffix 
with the formative 'ka,' of the Sanscrit possessive adjectives 'mamaka,' 
my, ' tavaka,' thy, ' asmakam,' of ns, our, &c. A closer analogy to 
' yoka,' is that of the dative post-fix of the Mikir, which is ' yok ' or 
' ayok.' 

(ii.) In Tamil, ' udeiya ' is commonly appended to the inflexion of 
nouns and pronouns, as an auxiliary possessive suffix. ' udeiya' 
(' udei-(y)-a') means belonging to, or, literally which is the property of, 
and is derived from the noun ' udei,' property, possession, by the 
addition of ' a,' the sign of the relative participle, on the addition of 
which to any noun it is converted into an adjective. Thus, ' enudeiya 
kei,' my hand, means literally the hand which is my property, for 'en' 
of itself signifies my. Through usage, however, there is no diflference 
in signification, or even in emphasis, between 'en' and 'en-ndei-(y)-a.' 
The Malayalam dispenses with 'ya' or 'a,,' the sign of the relative 
participle, and uses ' ute ' (in Tamil ' udei '), the uninflected noun 
itself, as its auxiliary suffix of the genitive. 

' udeiya ' is very largely used as an auxiliary genitival suffix in 
colloquial Tamil ; and in some grammars written by foreigners it is 
classed with the signs of the genitive; but, properly speaking, it is not 
a case-sign, or suffix of case at all, but the relative participle of an 
appellative verb used adjectivally, and it is to be compared not with 
our preposition of, but with the phrase belonging to. 

locative or 'seventh' case. — Dravidian grammarians state that any 
word which signifies 'a place' may be used to express the locative. 


In each dialect, however, some words or post-positions are so frequently 
and systematically used for this purpose that they may be regarded as 
distinctively locative suffixes. 

In Tamil, ' kan/ an eye, which has also the signification of a place, 
is given in the grammars as the characteristic suffix of the locative. 
As a verbal root 'kan' means to see : its secondary signification was 
looTc! its third there, its fourth a place; and in consequence of the last 
meaning it came to be used as a sign of the locative. It is very rarely 
used; and I have no hesitation in saying that the most distinctive 
sign of the Tamil locative is ' il,' a place, literally a house. In collo- 
quial Tamil the most commonly used sign of the locative is ' idattil,' a 
compound suffix, which is derived from ' idam,' the ordinary word for 
a place, ' attu,' the inflexion or basis of the oblique cases ('id-attu'), 
and ' 11/ an older, purer word for a place, which is added to ' id-attu ' 
(' id-att'-il '), as the real sign of the locative, with the meaning of our 
preposition in. The signification of the whole suffix is literally in the 
place of or in the place occitpied hy ; but it is evident that what really 
distinguishes the locative in this compound is ' il,' in — the suffix of a 
suffix ; and that the meaning which the entire compound receives in 
actual use is simply in. In the lowest patois of colloquial Tamil the 
locative suffix which is most used is ' ki^ta,' near, the infinitive of a 
verb.* The higher dialect of the Tamil uses also ' ul ' and ' uri/ 
within, among, as signs of the locative. 

The ancient Canarese used ' 61,' corresponding to the Tamil ' ul,' 
as its locative suffix ; whilst the modern dialect uses 'alii' or ' illi,' an 
adverbial form which answers to the Tamil 'il.' ' alii ' is properly an 
adverb of place, compounded of ' li ' and the remote demonstrative 
'a ;' and its fellow is 'illi,' compounded of the same root and 'i,' the 
proximate demonstrative. These words mean literally that place 
and this place, or there and here ; and their use as locative 
suffixes betokens a later state of the language than the use of 'il' and 
'ul' in Tamil, and of '61' in Canarese. Compare the change of 'il' 
in Tamil to 'li ' in Canarese, with the similar change of ' in ' in Latin 
into ' ni ' in Sanscrit. 

* I cannot forbear noticing the remarkable (though doubtless accidental) 
resemblance between the double meaning of ' il ' in Tamil (which is, perhaps, 
identical with 'in' the sign of the ablative of motion) and of 'in' in Latin. Each 
is used as a locative suffix or affix, with the meaning of in ; and each is used also 
as a particle of negation. The Latin 'in ' not only means in, but has also the addi- 
tional meaning of not in such compounds as ' indoctus ' (like the Gothic ' uu ' and 
the Greek and Sanscrit 'a' or 'an' privative); and in like manner the Tamil 'il ' 
means not only in, but also not. Moreover, as the Latin ' in ' privative is ' an ' 
in some other dialects, so the Tamil ' il,' not, takes also the ?hape of ' al,' with 
a very slight difference, not in the meaning, but only in the application. 

248 THE NOUN, 

In Telugu the sign of the locative, which is most commonly used, 
is ' 16 :' another form frequently employed is ' andu.' ' 16 ' is more 
intensely locative in its signification than ' andu :' it means tdthin, and 
is obviously identical with the Canarese ' 61 ' and the Tamil ' ul.' 
' andu ' means simply in, and like the Canarese ' alii ' is properly an 
adverb ; and is derived in a somewhat similar manner from ' a,' the 
remote demonstrative, with the addition of a formative ' d,' whilst 
'indu,' its correlative adverb of place, is derived from 'i,' the proxi- 
mate demonstrative. The Canarese also possesses adverbs corresponds 
ing to these, viz., 'anta' and 'inta,' 'antalu' and ' intalu j' but uses 
them chiefly to express comparison, like our adverb than. The Telugu 
locative suffix ' andu ' (meaning in) bears some apparent resemblance 
to the Sanscrit ' antar,' among, but this resemblance is wholly illusory: 
for ' andu ' is derived from ' a,' that, by the addition of the neuter 
formative ' du,' which becomes euphonically ' ndu,' and corresponds 
not to the Sanscrit, but rather to ' anda,' that, the demonstrative 
adjective of the Tamil. 

In Telugu the post-position ' na,' which becomes ' ni ' after ' i,' is 
used as a locative suffix in connexion with neuter nouns. ' ni ' (and 
hence its equivalent ' na ' also) is evidently identical with ' in,' the 
sign of the ablative of motion in High Tamil, which I have supposed 
to be properly a sign of the locative ; and probably both are identical 
with 'in,' the Tamil, and 'ni' and ' na,' the Telugu, genitival or 
inflexional suffixes. The locative is more likely to be derived from 
the genitive, than the genitive from the locative. With this Telugu 
locative ' na,' we may compare the Ostiak locative ' na,' ' ne ;' and 
the Finnish and Magyar locatives 'an' and 'en.' 

In Telugu, and in the higher dialect of the Tamil, the inflexion or 
basis of the oblique cases, which has naturally the force of a genitive, 
is sometimes used to denote the locative also. In Tamil the inflexion 
which is chiefly used in this manner is ' attu ;' e.g., ' nilattu,' upon the 
earth. The Malayalara uses 'atta' in a similar manner: and in Telugu a 
corresponding change from ' ti ' to ' ta ' converts the inflexion or 
obsolete genitive into a locative ; e.g., ' inti,' of a house, ' inta,' in a 
house. The same inflexion in 'ta' denotes the instrumental in Telugu, . 
as well as the locative ; e.g., compare ' cheti,' of a hand, with ' cheta,' 
by a hand, but this form seems to have been a locative originally , 
This fusion of the meaning of the genitive and locative suffixes corres- 
ponds to a similar fusion of the signs of those cases which a comparison 
of the various Indo-European tongues brings to light. The genitive 
and locative case-signs are often identical in the Finnish family of lan- 
guages also. Bearing this in mind, may we not concludo that ' in. 


■the Tamil sign of the ablative of motion, probably a locative, and 
which is identical with ' ira,' the Canarese sign of the instrumental, 
■was originally a genitive, and identical with ' in,' which we have seen 
to be so exceedingly common as a genitival suffix 1 

In all the Dravidian idioms the locative suffixes are used like our 
than, to express comparison. Sometimes the locative alone is used for 
this purpose : oftener the conjunctive particle is added to it ; e.g., 
'il-nm,' in Tamil, '16-nu,' in Telugu, which compound has the signifi- 
cation of our even than. 

None of the Dravidian suffixes of the locative bears any resem- 
blance to the locative case-signs of the Sanscrit, of any other of the 
Indo-European languages, or of tbe North-Indian vernaculars. 

The vocative or 'eighth'' case.— In the Dravidian languages there is 
nothing which properly deserves to be styled a suffix or case-sign of the 
vocative. The vocative is formed merely by affixing or suffixing some 
sign of emphasis, or in certain instances by suffixing fragments of the 
personal pronouns. 

The most common vocative in Tamil is the emphatic ' e,' which is 
simply appended to the noun. Sometimes, also, the vocative is formed 
by substituting 'a' for the formative of gender, e.g., from 'kartan,' 
Lord, is formed ' karta,' Lord ; by converting the final vowel into 
* ay ' (a fragment of the old pronoun of the second person singular), 
e.g., from -tangei,' sister, is formed 'tangay,' sister ; or by lengthening 
the vowel of the pluralising particle, e.g., from ' pavigal,' sinners, is 
formed ' pavigal,' sinners. Sometimes, again, especially in poetry, 
rational plurals are put in the vocative by appending to them ' ir,* 
a fragment of 'nir,' you, e.g., ' ellir,' literally 'ell-ir,' all ye. 

In the Indo-European languages the nominative is often used for 
the vocative, and what appears to be a vocative case-ending is often 
only a weakened form of the final syllable. In the Dravidian lan- 
guages, in like manner, the crude-root, deprived of all increments, is 
often used as the vocative. 

In Telugu the vocative singular is ordinarily formed by lengthening 
the final vowel of the nominative (and all Telugu words end in 
some vowel), or by changing the final ' u ' into ' a ' or ' a.' ' ara ' or 
'ara,' from the same root as the Tamil pronominal fragment 'ir' (viz. 
' nir,' ye), is post-fixed as the vocative of masculine-feminine plurals. 
In addition to these suffixes, various unimportant vocative particles, or 
particles of exclamation, are prefixed to nouns ; some to one number 
only, some to both. In Canarese the vocative is ordinarily fornied by 
appending ' a,' by lengthening the final vowel of the nominative, or 


by adding ' e ' or ' e.' Masculine-feminine plurals form their vocative 
not only by means of 'e' or 'e,' but also by sufiSxing 'ira' or 
' iia,' from the same source as the Telugu ' ara,' viz., the old ' nir,' 

Such being the origin and character of the Dravidian signs of the 
vocative, it is evident that we cannot expect to find allied forms in any 
other family of languages. 

Compound case-signs. — As in the Hungarian and other Scythian 
tongues, and in some of the languages of the Eastern islands, so in 
Dravidian, two or more case-signs are occasionally compounded 
together into one. We have already noticed the custom of annexing 
the various signs of the oblique cases to the inflexion or sign of the 
genitive; but other combinations of case-signs are also in use. Thus, 
there is a combination of the dative and locative, e.g., ' vittnkkul ' 
('vittu-kk'-ul '), colloquial Tam., within the house, in which the locative 
' ul' is combined with the dative or directive 'kku,' for the purpose of 
intensifying in, and educing the meaning of within. The higher 
dialect would in this instance prefer ' vittul,' the simple locative ; but 
' vHtukkul ' is also idiomatical. The ablative of motion in each of the 
Dravidian dialects is generally a compound case, being formed of the 
locative and a verbal participle, or even of two locatives ; e.g., ' mane- 
(y)-ill-inda,' Can., out of the house, from ' illi ' or ' alii,' the sign 
of the locative, and ' inda,' a sign of the instrumental, which is 
used also as ,ti sign of the ablative, but which was, I conceive, a 
locative originally, and identical with ' im,' the Canarese form of the 
Tamil ' in.' 

The Malayala 'inikknlla' ('in-i-kka' and 'ulla'), wiy, is a com- 
pound of the dative of the personal pronoun (which is itself a com- 
pound), and a relative-participial form of 'ul,' within; in colloquial 
Tamil also a similar form is used as a possessive. 

Such compounds may indeed be formed in these languages at 
pleasure, and almost ad infinitum. Another instance of them in 
Tamil is seen in the addition of the dative to the locative {e.g.> 
'idattiB-ku' or ' kat-ku '), to constitute the locative-directive, which 
is required to be used in such expressions as / sent to hirri. ' ' 

Possessive compounds. — The Dravidian languages are destitute, of 
that remarkable and very convenient compound of nouns and prono- 
minal or possessive suffixes which is so characteristic of the Turkish,' 
Ugriaiij and other Scythian families. 


my master 


thy master 


his master 


our master 


your master 


their master 


In Hungarian they form the following compounds of 'at,' mastery 
with the pronominal fragments, used as possessives : — 

ur-aim, my masters 
ur-aid, thy masters 
ur-ai, his masters 

ur-ain-k, our masters 
ur-ait-ok, your masters 
ur-ai-k, their masters 

These compounds are regularly declined like uncompounded nouns, 
in the usual way, e.g. — 

uramnak (ur-am-nak), to my master 
urunknak (ur-un-k-nak), to our master 
uraimnak (ur-aim-nak), to my masters 
urainknak (ur-ain-k-nak), to our masters 

The entire absence of compounds of this nature in the Dravidian 
languages, notwithstanding their agreement with the Scythian group 
in so many other points, is very remarkable : it is the pnly point, how- 
ever, in which any structural difference of a generic, or class type, 
appears to exist. 

In all the Dravidian languages the possessive pronouns are prefixed 
to nouns, as in the Indo-European tongues, never post-fixed as in the 

Part III.— Adjectives, or Nouns used Adjectivally. 

The difference between the Indo-European languages and those of 
the Scythian group, with respect to the formation and use of adjectives, 
is very considerable. 

The agreement of adjectives with the substantives which they 
qualify, in gender, number, and case, forms an invariable characteristic 
of the languages of the Indo-European family ; whilst in the Scythian 
languages adjectives have neither number, gender, nor case, but are 
mere nouns of relation or quality, which are prefixed without altera- 
tion to substantive nouns. In this particular the Dravidian languages 
present no resemblance to the Sanscrit, or to any other member of the 
Indo-European stock, but are decidedly Scythian in character. Dravi- 
dian adjectives, properly so called, like those of the Scythian tongues, 
are nouns of quality or relation, which acquire the signification of 
adjectives merely by being prefixed to substantive nouns without 

252 THE NOUN. 

(declensional change ; and, in virtue of that acquired signification, they 
are called by Tamil grammarians ' uri chol,' qualitative words. Parti- 
ciples of verbs, and nouns with the addition of participial formatives, 
are also largely used as adjectives in the Dravidian, as in ihe Scythian, 

Such being the simplicity of the construction of Dravidian adjec- 
tives, it will not be necessary to occupy much time in the investigat- 
tion of this department of grammar. It may suffice to state, seriatim, 
the various modes in which words are used as adjectives, and the 
formative or euphonic modifications which they undergo on being 
prefixed to the substantives which they qualify: nor will it be neces- 
sary to state all the modifications which are discoverable in each 
dialect, but only those which appear to be most characteristic, or 
which are peculiarly worthy of remark. 

1. The majority of adjectives in all the Dravidian dialects, as in 
the dialects of the Scythian group, are nouns of quality or relation 
which become adjectives by position alone, without any structural 
change whatever, and without ceasing to be, in themselves, nouns of 
quality. Thus, in the Tamil phrases, ' pon aridu,' gold (is) scarce, 
and 'pon mudi,' a golden crown, 'pou,' gold, is precisely the same in* 
both instances, whether used as a substantive, in the first, or as an 
adjective, in the second. 

In a similar manner in English and the other modern Indo- 
European dialects the same word is often used aa a noun in one 
connexion, and as an adjective, without addition or change, in another 
connexion; e.g., ^ gold' is more ductile than silver; a 'gold' watch: 
but this is contrary to the original genius of languages of this family, 
and is the result of a process of corruption. Whilst adjectival nouns 
of this class undergo in the Dravidian languages no structural 
change, their combination with the nouns to which they are prefixed 
is facilitated in certain instances by unimportant euphonic changes, 
such as the assimilation of the final consonant of the adjective 
and the initial consonant of the substantive, in accordance with the 
requirements of Dravidian phonetics {e.g., ' poR chilei ' (for ' pon 
chilei), a golden image ') / the softening, hardening, or doubling of the 
initial of the substantive; or the optional lengthening of the included 
vowel of the adjectival word, to compensate for the abandonment of 
the euphonic final ' u,' e.g., ' kar,' black, in place of ' karu,' or vice 
versd. These changes are purely euphonic ; they difier in the different 
dialects ; and they contribute to grammatical expression only in so 
far as they serve to , indicate the words which are to be construed 
together as adjective and substantive. It is only on th-e ground of the 


repugnance of the Drftvidian ear to certain classes of concurrent sounds 
that the changes referred to are required by Dravidian rules ; and in 
the majority of instances nouns sustain no change whatever on being 
used adjectivally. 

In the poetial dialects, adjectival formatives are less used than 
even in the colloquial dialects ; and it is generally the crude ultimate 
form of the noun of quality which performs the functions of the adjec- 
tive in classical compositions. Thus, whilst ' nalla,' good, and ' pala,' 
many, are commonly used in spoken Tamil, the higher idiom prefers, 
and almost invariably uses, the crude nouns of quality and relation 
' nal ' and ' pal ; ' e.g., ' nal vari,' the good way, and ' pan ' (for ' pal ') 
'malar,' many flowers. 

2. Sanscrit derivatives (neuter nouns of quality) ending in ' am ' 
in Tamil, and in ' amii' in Telugu, become adjectives when prefixed 
to other nouns by rejecting the final ' m ' or ' mu ; ' e.g., ' subam,' 
goodness, and ' dinam,' a day, become ' suba dinam,' a good day. 
This, however, is a Sanscrit rather than a Dravidian rule; and it flows 
from the circumstance, that when two Sanscrit nouns are formed into 
a compound, the crude form of the first of the two nouns is used instead 

% of the nominative, — ' subha ' instead of ' subham.' 

Pure Dravidian nouns ending in ' am ' or ' amu ' rarely Income 
adjectives in this manner ; and when they do, it is through imita- 
tion of Sancrit derivatives. In Telugu, final ' amu ' is sometimes 
hardened into ' ampu; e.^"., from 'andamu,' beauty, is formed 'andapu' 
or ' andampu,' beautiful.' In Tamil, when a noun of this class is used 
as an adjective ; ' am ' is generally rejected, and ' attu,' the inflexion, 
suffixed instead j e.g., from ' puBam,' externalityj is formed ' puRattu,' 
external. Sometimes also the Tamil deals in this manner with Sanscrit 
derivatives, converting th^m into adjectives by means of the inflexional 
' attu : ' but in all instances of nouns ending in ' am ' or ' amu,' the 
most common method of using them adjectivally is that of appending 
to them the relative participle of the verb to become ('ana,' Tam., 
'ayana,' Tel., or 'ada,' Can.), without any change, whether structural 
or euphonic, in the nouns themselves. 

3. Many Tamil nouns ending in 's-u,' 'd-u,' 'nd-u,' or 'b-u,' double 
their final consonants when they are used as adjectives, or when case- 
signs are suffixed to them : e.g., compare ' nS,d-u,' Tam., the country, 
■with ' iiatt-u varakkam,' the custom of the country, or ' natt-il,' in the 
country. From the corresponding Telugu 'nad-u,' the country, is 
formed ' n&ti,' of the country. In these instances the final consonant 
of the root is doubled and hardened (or in Telugu hardened only), for 
the purpose of conveying the signification of an adjective : but in 

254 THE NOUN. 

another class of instances the root 'remains unchanged, and it is the 
consonant of the formative addition that is doubled. 

When Tamil nouns ending in the formative 'mbu' are used 
adjectivally, ' mbu ' changes into ' ppu ; ' e.g., from ' irumbu,' iron, 
and ' kol,' a rod, is formed ' iruppn (k)k61,' an iron rod. A similar 
change sometimes takes place in Telugu, in which ' ioumu,' iron, 
becomes 'inupa,' e.g., 'inupa pette,' an iron box. 

Tamil nouns ending in the formative ' ndu ' and ' du ' change in 
the same manner to ' ttu ' on being used as adjectives. £!.g., compare 
' marundu,' medicine, and ' erudu,' an ox, with ' maruttu (p)pei,' a 
medicine bag, and ' eruttu (p)podi,' an ox load. 

Nouns ending in the formative ' ngu ' do not, as might have been 
expected, change into ' kku ' on becomming adjectives. Both these 
classes of changes precisely resemble those which neuter or intransitive 
verbs ending in ' d-u ' or ' r-u ' (or with the formative additions of 
' mb-u,' ' ng-u,' ' nd-u,' &c.) undergo on becoming active or transitive, 
and a similar principle is in each instance apparent in the change; for 
when nouns of quality are prefixed to other nouns adjectivally, there 
is a transition of their signification to the nouns which they are 
intended to qualify, which is analogous to the transition of the action ^ 
of a, transitive verb. to the object which it governs. (See the Section 
on ' Boots,' and also that on ' The Verb '). 

4. Each of the inflexional increments, or petrified case-signs of the 
genitive, is used for the conversion of substantives into adjectives. 
These are 'in' in Tamil and 'ni' in Telugu, ' attu ' in Tamil and 
' ti ' or ' ti ' in Telugu. In those instances in which ' in ' in Tamil 
and ' ni ' in Telugu are used as adjectival formatives, their use is 
optional ; e.g., in Telugu we can say either ' tella,' white, or ' tella-ni ;' 
and in Tamil either ' niral,' shady (literally shade, a noun used 
adjectivally), or (but in the poetical dialect only) ' niral-in.' So also, 
we may say either ' mara (k)koppu,' Tam., the branch of a tree, or 
'mara-ttu (k)koppu.' In Tamil 'am,' an inflexional increment which 
is apparently equivalent to 'in,' is often used as an adjectival forma- 
tive; e.g., 'panantoppu' ('panei-am toppu'), a palmyra tope. The 
same formative is used in Malayalam also ; eg., ' malam pambu ' 
(' mala-am pambu '), a rock snake. 

It has been shown that the inflexions or inflexional augments, 
' attu ' and ' ti,' are in reality genitive or possessive case-signs ; and 
that they are used to convert substantives into adjectives through the 
ultimate relation subsisting between genitives, e.g., of gold, and adjee* 
tives, e.g., golden. In consequence of the frequency of tneir use in this 
connexion, they have come to be appended even to adverbial forms for 


the purpose of giving to them an adjectival meaning. Thus, from 
'monna,' Tel., hefore, is formed the adjective 'monna-ti' {e.g., 'monna- 
ti tirpu,' th? former decision'); and in Tamil from ' vadakku,' north, 
(properly a dative) is formed the adjective ' vadakk'-att-u,'^ wortAerw 
(_e.ff., ' vadakkattiyan, a northern Tamilian'). 

5. Eelative participles of verbs, and nouns of quality converted 
into relative participles by the addition of participial formatives, 
are largely used as adjectives in all the Dravidian languages. Much 
use is made of relative participles as adjectives by the languages of 
High Asia also. 

It often happens that the same root is used, or at least is capable 
of being used, both as a verb and as a noun ; and hence, in many 
instances of this kind in the Dravidian languages, two methods of 
forming adjectives are practicable, viz., either by prefixing the noun 
to the substantive which we wish to qualify, or by using one of the 
relative participles of the related and equivalent verb. The colloquial 
<^alect of the Tamil prefers the latter method : the former is preferred 
by the poets on account of its greater simplicity and brevity. Thus, 
in Tamil either ' uyar,' height (adjectivally high), or the relative par- 
, ticiple ' uyarnda,' hiffJi, literally that was high (from ' uyar ' con- 
sidered as a verb signifying to be high), may be used to expres high or 
loft^; eg., 'uyarmalei' or ' nyajrada, malei,' a lofty hill : but 'uyar' 
would be preferred in poetical compositious, whilst ' uyarnda ' is 
better suited to prose and colloquial purposes, and is consequently 
the form which is commonly used by the Tamil people. This usage 
is not unknown to the Indo-European tongues ajso, but it constitutes 
a special characteristic of the Scythian group. 

6. The past verbal participle of Telugu ver]bs is sometimes used 
adjectivally in Telugu ; hence when Sans, neuter nouns in ' ani ' are 
used as adjectives ' ayi,' having become (the verbal participle), is often 
annexed to them instead of 'ayi-na' (Tam. 'ana,' Can. ' adu'), that 
became, that is (the relative participle). It is evident, therefore, that 
the final ' i ' of many Telugu, adjectives is that by whjch the past 
participles of verbs are formed; e.g., 'kindi,' low, from 'kipda,'. adverb, 
below; e.g., 'kindi 'A\n,' , thfi lower part of tfie hpfise. The addition of 
this ' i ' converts sul^staiittives als,p into adjectives ; e.g., from ' kun-u,' 
Or hump, is formed, ' kuni,' hump-J>a,ched. 

7. A very numerous class of I)ravidian a,djectives is formed by 
^hg addition, to crude nouns of quality of the suffixes of the relative 
participles, more or less modified. ' uyarn4a ' is a perfectly formed 
preterite relative partipiple, comprising, in addition to,tbe verbal root, 
' nd,' the sign of the preterite tense, and ' a,' the sign of the relative ; 

256 THE NOUN. 

and though the idea of time is in this connexion practically lost sight 
of, yet that idea is included and expressed. On the other hand, in the 
class of words now to be considered, the signs of tense are modified 
or rejected, to correspond with their use as adjectives, and the idea of 
time is entirely merged in that of relation. It is words of this class 
which are commonly adduced by native grammarians as specimens of 
qitalitative wordk, or adjectives; and if the name can correctly be used 
at all in the Dravidian family of tongues, it is to this class that it is 
applicable. I am convinced, however, that it is more correct to regard 
these words simply as relative participles ; and I class them und.er7 
this head, immediately after the investigation of the noun, because in 
most instances, the root to which the relative signs are suffixed is used 
by itself not aa a verb, but only as a noun, of quality or relation, or as 
an appellative. 

(1.) Many Tamil adjectives of this class are formed by the addition 
of ' iya ' to the root, e.g., ' periya,' great, ' siBiya,' small. The roots of' 
those words are ' per-u ' and ' sir-u / and as ' u * is merely a help to 
enunciation, I do not say that 'u' is changed into 'i,' but prefer to say 
that 'iya' is added to the root. I have no doubt that we shall be able 
to explain each part of this addition grammatically, without having 
recourse to arbitrary mutations, 'iya' ('i-y-a'), is, I conceive, com- 
pounded of 'i,' a sign of the preterite tense, and 'a,' the sign of the 
relative participle. It has probably been originally softened from 
' ida,' the suffix of the preterite relative participle in ancient Canarese, 
to which 'ina' corresponds in colloquial Tamil. In Telugu, the past- 
participle alone is often used adjectivally without the suffix of the 
relative, as we have already seen ; and the ' i ' with which that parti- 
ciple terminates, explains the ' i ' which precedes the final ' a ' of such 
Tamil adjectives as 'peri-(y)-a.' 'i' is the sign of the verbal participle, 
and the addition of 'a' or 'ya,' transforms it into a relative participle. 
In classical Tamil compositions 'iya' is generally used instead of 'ina,' 
as the sign of the preterite relative participle of ordinary verbs; e.g., 
' panniya,' instead of ' pannina,' that made. When the same suffix is 
added to a noun of quality like ' per-u,' great, it converts it into a 
relative participle, which, with the form of the preterite, contains in it 
no reference to time, and which may therefore be called an adjective. 
The suffix ' iya,' being somewhat archaic, readily loses the idea of 
time; whereas that idea is firmly retained by 'ida,' 'ina,' and the 
other preterite relative suffixes which are in ordinary use. A good 
illustration of the adjectival use of ' iya ' is furnished by the very roots 
to which we have referred, viz., ' peru,' great, ' sIbu,' small. 

When these roots are regarded as verbs, their preterite relative 


participles are ' perutta,' that was or became great, ' siRutta/ that was or 
became small; in which participles the ideas of time and change are 
always included : whereas, when ' peru ' and ' siBu ' are regarded as 
nouns of quality, they are adapted for general use as adjectives by 
having ' iya ' suffixed to them, e.g., ' periya,' ' siRiya,' (' per'-iya,' 
' si&'-iya.') In this shape they mean simply great and small, without 
any reference to time ; and in consequence of ' iya ' being so purely 
aoristic, adjectives of this mode of formation are largely used. ' periya,* 
great, ' kodiya,' cruel, may properly be styled adjectives, seeing that 
they are used as such; but it is a mistake to regard 'periya-(v)-an,' or 
' periya-n,' a great man, ' kodiya-n,' a crud man, and similar words as 
adjectives. They are compounds of adjectives and suffixes of gender; 
and are properly appellative nouns, as has been shown under the head 
of ' Gender,' and as appears from the manner in which they are used. 

It is remarkable tbat ' a ' or ' ia ' is post-fixed in Kole also to 
many adjectives ; and that the same participle is a sign of the posses- 
sive, as 'a' is in Dravidian. 

(2.) Some adjectives are formed by simply suffixing ' a,' the sign 
of the relative participle, without the preterite ' i,' or any other sign 
of tense whatever; e.^'., ' nalla,' Tam. grooti/ 'dodda,' Can.yr«a<; 'pedda,' 
Tel. great. The examples here given may be, and doubtless are, 
derived from preterite relative participles ('nalla'* from the high 
Tamil ' nalgiya ' and ' dodda ' from the ancient Canarese ' doddida ') ; 
but in some instances, 'a,' the sign of the relative participle, is appended 
directly to nouns, without borrowing any portion of the sign of the 
preterite. We have an instance of this even in colloquial Tamil, viz., 
' udeiya ' (' udei-(y)-a '), the ordinary colloquial suffix of the genitive, 
which literally signifies that belongs to, that is the property of, from 
' udei,' property, to which ' a,' the sign of the relative participle, is 
simply suffixed. This mode of forming adjectives from substantives 
by directly suffixing ' a ' is very common in the classical dialect of the 
Tamil, especially in connexion with substantives ending in ' ei' or 'i;' 
e.g., from 'malei,' a hiU, comes ' malei-(y)-a,' adj., hUly, or of a hill; 
from ' sunei,' a spring, comes ' snnei-(y)-a,' that relates to a spring. So 
also from ' ti,' evU, is formed ' ti-(y)-a,' adj., evil. The circumstance 

* 'Salla' is generally considered to be a primitive word, and a hon& fide 
adjective: but if 'ketta,' had, is admitted to be a relative participle, from 
'ked-u,' to become had, it is reasonable to suppose that 'nalla,' good, has also 
some Bueh origin. Accordingly we find a root, ' nal,' goodness, which is capable 
of being used adjectivally, and then signifies good; and connected with the same 
root we find also the verb ' nalg-u,' to be bourUi/vl, to be good. The preterite 
relative participle of this verb is ' nalgiya,' that was, or is, bountiful; and from 
this, I believe, that the much-used adjective ' nalla,' good, has been derived. 

258 THE Noxnsr. 

that in most of these examples, the signification of the genitive is aa 
natural as that of the adjective, shows how intilnately the genitive and 
the adjective are allied. Nevertheless, as used in these examples, I 
regard ' a ' as an adjectival termination, rather than as a sign of the 
genitive, and as acquiring this force from its being the sign of the 
relative participle. Indeed I would define these qualitative words 
(' raalei-(y)-a,' &c.) to be the relative participles of 'appellative 
Verbs." See that class of words investigated in the section on 'The 

This usage, perhaps, explains the origin of the Tamil adjectives 
'pala,' many, and 'sila,'/ew, viz., from the roots 'pal' and 'sil' 
(which are used JP their crude state in the poets), and 'a,' the sign of 
the relativ.e participle. It is true that these words are also regarded 
as neuters plural, — and that in some instances they are correctly so 
regarded appears from the phrase ' palavin ' (' pala-v-in ') ' pal,' the 
Tamil designation of the neuter plural, literally the gender of the many 
(things). But when we look also at such phrases as ' pala arasar, 
many Mngs — phrases of constant occurrence, not only in the collo- 
quial dialect, but in the classics^ — it is evident that the ' a ' of this 
latter ' pala' is used, not as a sufiix of the neuter plural, or as a sign 
of plurality of any sort, but as a sign of the relative participle, by 
the use of which ' pal-a ' becomes an adjective. 

(3.) Many adjectives of this class are formed by the addition to 
nouns of quality of the sign of the relative participle of the future or 
aorist, which is ' um ' in Tamil, e.g., ' perum,' great. Beschi supposes 
this adjective to be derived from the abstract noun ' perumei,' great- 
ness, by the rejection of the final 'ei ;' and to all other adjectives of 
this class he attributes a similar origin. ' mei,' however, not ' ei,' is 
the sufilix by which abstract nouns are formed (^vide the section on ' The 
Verb '), and as such it is one and indivisible. It is much better to 
derive ' perum ' from ' per',' the un-euphonised form of the root 
' peru,' greatness, great, and ' um,' the ordinary relative participle of 
the aorist; in the same manner as ' periya' has been seen to be derived 
from ' per' and ' iya,' the relative participle of the preterite. ' nm' 
is ordinarily called the relative participle of the future, but this future 
will be shown, in the section on 'The Verb,' to be properly an aorist, 
and as such to be used very indeterminately, with respect to time. 
' Vinnil minang-um Sudar,' Tam,, means, not the stars that will shine 
in the shy, but the stars that shine in the fhy, this tense being especially 
fitted to denote continued existence : and in consequence of this loose- 
ness of reference to time, ' um,' the sign of the relative participle of 
this tense is better fitted even than ' iya ' to be suffixed to nouns of 


quality, as an adjectival formative. Hence ' perum,' literally that is 
was or will be great, is a more expressive and more classical word for 
ffreaf than ' periya.' 

It has already been shown, in the section on ' Sounds,' that 'peim,' 
Tam., green, is not a distinct form of adjective, but is softened from 
'pasum' Cpayum') by a dialectic rule, whilst 'pasum' is deriA'ed 
Begularly from 'pas-u,' greenness, green, and 'um,' the particle which 
is now under consideration. 

7. Dravidian nouns of every description may be used adjectivally 
by appending to them the relative participles of the verb signifying to 
become., which are in Tamil 'ana' and ' agum ' (also ' ulla,' an equiva- 
lent word), in Telugu 'agu' and 'ayana,' in Canarese ' ada :' e.g., 
' uyarvana ' (' uyarv'-ana'), Tam:, lofty, literally that was or has become 
high or a height. This mode of forming adjectives is especially used in 
connexion with Sanscrit derivatives, on account of their greater length 
and foreign origin. Such adjectives, however, are phrases not words ; 
and they are incorrectly classed amongst adjectives by Europeans who 
have treated of Dravidian grammar. 

I may here also again remark, that certain words have been styled 
adjectives by some European writers, which in reality are appellative 
nouns, not adjectives, and which acquire the force of adjectives merely 
from the addition of the relative participles of the verb to become, which 
hiave been referred to above. Thus, the Tamil words ' nallavan,' a 
good (man), ' nallaval,' a good (woman), ' nalladu,' a good {thing), are 
appellative nouns fonned by the suffix to a noun of quality of the for- 
matives of the three genders ; and the addition of ' ana,' that has 
become, to any of these words, though it constitutes them adjectives in 
effect, leaves them in grammatical form precisely what they were 
before. Bontis may either qualify another- noun, e.g., bomis vir, when 
it is an adjective, or it may stand alone and act as nominative to a 
verb, when it is a qualitative noun, e.g., bonus virimtem amat. The 
Tamil ' nallavan,' a good (man), can only be used in the latter sense, 
and therefore is not an adjective at all, 

4)omparigon of adjective.— Iri all the Dravidian dialects comparison 
is effected, not as in the Indo-European family by means of compara- 
tive or superlative particles suffixed to, and combined with, the positive 
form of the adjective, but by a method closely resembling that in which 
adjectives are compared in the Semitic languages, or by the simpler 
means which are generally used in the ifl,nguages of the Scythian group. 
When the first of these methods is adopted, the noun of quality or 
adjective to be compared is placed in the nominative, and the noun or 

s 2 

260 THE NOUN. 

nouns with which it is to be compared are put in the locative and pre- 
fixed. It is generally stated in Tamil grammars that it is the ablative 
of motion which is thus used, but I am persuaded that even when the 
case-sign is that of the ablative of motion, the signification is purely 
that of the locative; and that in Tamil 'il' and 'in,' have in this 
connexion the meaning of in (i.e., are locatives), rather than that of 
from: e.g., 'avattr'-il idu nalladu,' Tam., this is better than those, 
literally in those things this is good. 

The conjunctive particle 'um,' and, even, is often added, especially 
in the colloquial dialect, as an intensitive, e.g., 'avattr'-il-um idtt 
nalladu,' Tam., this is better than those, literally even-in-those this is good, 
Sometimes the noun with which comparison is to be made is put in the 
dative instead of the locative. Sometimes, again, comparison is efi"ected 
by means of an auxiliary verb. The noun with which comparison is 
to be made is put in the accusative ; it is followed and governed' by 
the subjunctive or infinitive of a verb signifying to see, to show, or to 
leave; and the phrase is concluded by the subject of the preposition, 
with the adjective to be compared. Thus, in Tamil we may say 
'adei-(p)parkkilum idu nalladu,' literally even though looTdng at that 
this {is) good, or 'adei vida idu nalladu,' quitting that this (is) good, i.e., 
this is so good as to induce one to abandon that. 

Such modes of comparison, however, are stiff, cumbrous, and little 
used except by Europeans ; and in the Dravidian dialects, as in those 
of the Scythian group, direct comparison of one thing with another is 
ordinarily left to be understood, not expressed. The efiect which is 
aimed at is secured in a very simple manner by prefixing to the posi- 
tive form of the adjective some word signifying much or veri/, or by 
appending to the subject of the proposition a sign of emphasis, or a 
word signifying indeed, e.g., 'id-e' (or 'idu tan') nalladu,' Tam., this 
indeed is good. 

In Telugu and Canarese the conjunctive particles 'nu' and 'u' 
are not necessarily required to help forward the former method of com- 
parison, like the Tamil ' um ;' nor is this particle generally used in the 
higher dialect of the Tamil itself. The Canarese makes use also of the 
particles 'anta' and 'inta,' 'antalu' and 'intalu' (which, in their 
origin, are compounds of locatives and demonstratives), to assist in 
ejOPecting comparison. 

In all these dialects the superlative is generally expressed by means 
of prefixed adverbs signifying much or veri/, or by the primitive 
Scythian plan of doubling of the adjective itself, e.g., ' periya-periya,' 
veri/ great, literally great-great. If greater explicitness is required, the 
method by which it is eifected is that of putting the objects with which 


comparison is made in the plural and in the locative-case. Thus the 
phrase, the tiger is the fiercest animal, would be expressed in Tamil as 
follows, — ' vilangugalil puli kodidu,' amonffst animals (literally in ani- 
mals) the tiger is cruel. Sometimes, for the purpose of increasing the 
intensity of the superlative signification the adjectival noun ' ella,' all, 
is prefixed to the plural noun which denotes the objects compared, e.y., 
in (i.e., amongst) all animals the tiger is cruel. 

It is evident that the modes of forming the comparative and 
superlative degrees of adjectives which have now been described, 
differ greatly and essentially from those which characterize the Indo- 
European family of tongues. If Drdvidian adjectives had ever been 
compared like those of the Sanscrit, it is inconceivable that so con- 
venient and expressive a plan should so completely have been aban- 
doned. The Dravidian modes of comparison agree, up to a certain 
point, with those of the Semitic tongues ; but they are in most perfect 
accordance with the Turkish method, and with the modes of com- 
parison which are employed in the languages of Tartary generally. 

Robert de Nobilis and the Jesuit writers endeavoured to naturalise 
in Tamil the Sanscrit superlative particle 'tama;' but the Tamil 
adhered resolutely to its own idiom, and the attempt failed. 

- Prepositions or Post-Positions. — It has already been stated 
that all the Dravidian post-positions are, or have been, nouns. When' 
suffixed to other nouns as post-positions, they are supposed to be in 
the locative case ; but they are generally suffixed in their un-inflected 
form, or in the nominative ; and the locative case-sign, though under- 
stood, is rarely expressed. It seems quite unnecessary to enter into 
an investigation of the post-positions in a work of this kind, inasmuch 
as they are sufficiently explained in the ordinary grammars, and are 
to be regarded simply as nouns of relation.- 



In the Dravidian languages, each of the cardinal nnmbera presents 
itself to ns in a two-fold shape. The first and more primitive form is 
that of numeral adjectives ; the second and more largely used is that 
of neuter nouns of number. The numeral adverbs (■' twice,' ' thrice,' 
&o.) and also the distributive numerals (' by twos,' ' by threes,' &c.) 
are formed from the numeral adjectives ; whilst the ordinal numbers 
(' second,' ' third,' &c.) are formed f^om the abstract numeral nouns. 

In the colloquial dialects the neuter nouns of number are often 
used, without change, as numeral adjectives: e.g., in Tamil, we may 
say ' irandu per,' two persons; though ' iru p6r,', or the still more 
classical appellative noun, ' iruTaT,' might have been expected tft be 
used. This use of the noun of number instead of the numeral 
adjective is not nngrammatioal ; but is in accordance with the charac- 
teristic Dravidian rule that every noun of quality or relation, though 
in itself neuter and abstract, becomes an adjective by being prefixed 
to a substantive noun in direct apposition. The numeral noun 
' ondru,' Tam., ' okati,' Tel., one, is the only numeral which is never 
used in this manner even in the colloquial dialects j the adjectival 
numerals, ' oru,' ' oka,' &c., being invariably prefixed to substantive 
nouns as numeral adjectives: the same forms are employed also as 
indefinite articles. 

The abstract or neuter nouns of number are sometimes elegantly 
post-fixed, instead of being pre-fixed to the substantive nouns which 
they are intended to qualify. E.g., instead of ' nal' erudu,' Tam., 
four oscen, we may say, not only ' n&ng' erudu ' (using the noun of 
number ' uangu,' instead of the numeral adjective ' nalu '), but also 
' erudu n&ngu ;' a phrase which literally means a quarternion of oxen. 
This phrase afibrds an illustration of the statement that the Dravidian 
nouns of number are properly abstract neuters. 

ONE. 263 

The primitive radical forms of the Dravidian numerals, will be 
found to be those of the numeral adjectives. In investigating the 
numerals one by one, it will be seen that the neuter or abstract nouns 
of number have been formed from the shorter and simpler numeral 
adjectives by the addition of neuter formatives and euphonic incre- 
ments. It is, therefore, the numeral adjectives of the Dravidian 
languages, not their numeral- nouns, which are to be compared with 
the numeral^ of other famjlies of languages. 

The compound numbers between 'ten' and 'twenty,' and especially 
the higher compounds (' twenty,' ' thirty,' ' two hundred,' ' three 
hundred,' &c.), afford much help towards ascertaining the oldest forms 
of the Dravidian numeral roots; seeing that the numeral adjectives 
which are employed in those compounds exhibit the numerals in their 
briefest, purest, and most ancient shape. 

■It is the adjectival form of the numerals which is used in forming 
appellative nouns of number, such as 'iruvar' (' iru-(v)-ar'), Tam., 
two persons. The basis of thjs ' word is not ' irandu,' the noun of 
number two, but the numeral adjective ' iru,' with the addition of ' ar,' 
the usual suffix of the epicene or masculine-feminine plural. In the 
colloquial dialects, adjectival or appellative nouns of number are 
formed in this manner from the first three numeral adjectives alone; e.g., 
'oruvan,' Tara., one person, (masc), 'unus;' 'orutti,' one person (fem.), 
'una;' 'iruvar,' two persons; 'mixv&T,' three persons (both epicene): 
but in the higher or poetical dialects, almost all the numeral adjec- 
tives are converted in this manner into' appellative nouns. 

From these circumstances it is evident that the Dravidian numeral 
adjectives are to be regarded as the only essential portion of the roots 
of -the cardinal numbers, and probably as the very roots themselves. 

One. — Two forms of the cardinal numeral ' one ' are found in the 
Dravidian languages, which will appear, I think, to be remotely 
allied. The first, ' oru,' is that wlaich is used in all the dialects except 
the Telugu ; the latter, ' oka,' is used in the Telugu alone. 

(1.) The basis of the first and most commonly used form of this 
numeral is ' or,' to which ' u ' is added for euphonisation ; and this 
constitutes the numeral adjective ' one,' in all the dialects which make 
use of this base, 'or-u,' in colloquial Tamil, becomes '6r' in the 
poetical dialect; the essential vowel 'p' being lengthened to ' 6 ' to 
comperisate for the rejection of the euphonic addition ' u.' The adjec- 
tival form used in Tulu is ■ ori,' in Ku ' ra;' with, which the Behistun 
numeral adjective 'irra' or 'ra' may be compared. The Canarese 
numeral adjective is identical with the Tamil, though its true chg,- 


racter is somewhat concealed. Instead of 'oruvan,' Tam., ' uniis^ the 
Canarese has 'obban-u' (or-b-an ')," and instead of 'orural/ 'wna/ 
' obbal-u ' (' or-b-al '). The ancient Canarese, however, uses ' 6rvvam' 
for the former, and 'firval' for the latter j the base of which, 'or,' is 
the numeral root, and is identical with the Tamil ' or-u ' or '6r.' 

The abstract neuter noun 'one,' meaning literally one tiling, or 
unity, is in Canarese 'ondu;' in grammatical Tamil 'ouru' (pro- 
nounced ' ondru ' or ' ondu,' and in vulgar Tamil ' onnu) ; in Malaya- 
lam 'onna;' in Tulu 'onji;' in Gdnd 'nndi;' in Tnda 'vodda/ ' od,' 
'ood,' or 'vood;' in Uraon 'unta.' 

' or ' being the adjectival form of this numeral, it claims by rale 
to be the representative of the crude root, as well as the basis of the 
abstract or neuter nouns of number signifying ' one ' or ' unity,' which 
are used in the various dialects. It remains to be seen whether the 
derivation of each of those nouns of number from 'or' can be clearly 
made out. 

At first' sight the Canarese ' ondu,' and especially the Malayala 
' onna,' appear to resemble the most common form of the Indo- 
European numeral ' one,' which is in Latin ' un-us ' (in an older form 
' oin-os '), in Greek ' Iv,' in Gothic ' ain'-s.' In the Koibal, a SamoTede 
dialect, there is a similar word for ' one,' viz., ' unem :' and we find in 
the Tungusian ' um,' in the Manchu ' emu.' Even in Sanscrit, though 
'eka' is invariably used for one, a form has been noticed which 
appears to be allied to the first numeral of the Western languages, viz., 
'una-s,' less, which is prefixed to some of the higher numerals to 
express diminution hy one {e.g., ' unavimshati,' nineteen), like the cor- 
responding prefix 'un' in the Latin ' nndeviginti.' It would be an 
interesting circumstance if the Malayala ' onn-a ' and the Latin ' un-us' 
were found to be allied; but the resemblance is altogether illusory, 
and vanishes on the derivation of ' onna ' from ' or ' being proved. 

It is reasonable to suppose that the numeral adjective of the Tamil, 
' oru,' and its numeral noun ' onau,' must somehow be related. Now, 
whilst it is impossible on Dravidian principles to derive 'oru' from 
' onRU,' it will be shown that the derivation of ' onRU ' from ' oru ' is 
in perfect accordance with Dr^vidian rules : and if the Malayala 
' onna * be simply an euphonised form of the Tamil ' onRu,' as it 
certainly is, every idea of the existence of a connection between any 
of these forms and the Latin ' un-us ' must be abandoned. 

It was shown in the section on ' Sounds ' that the Dravidian 
languages delight to euphonise certain consonants by prefixing nasals 
to them. If the ' r ' of ' oru ' is found to have been converted in this 
manner into ' nr,' the point under discussion will be settled. What 

ONE. 265 

analogy, then,, is there for this conversion ? ' muru,' Canarese, three, 
has through this very process become in Tamil, ' miinBii ' (pronounced 
' mundru,' 'mundu,' or 'munu'); in Malayalam, 'munna. 'karu,' 
Can., a calf, becomes in Tamil, ' kanRu ' (pronounced ' kandru ' or 
' kandu,' and vulgarised in colloquial Tamil into ' kannu ') ; in Malayala 
* kanna.' Again, ' kiiin,' the verbal suffix denoting present time in 
Tamil, has become in the poetical dialect 'kinRu,' pronounced 'kindru ;' 
and this, in the Malayalam present tense, is found to be still further 
softened into ' kunnu,' and even ' unnu.' In all these instances we 
perceive that very euphonic alteration by which ' oru ' has become 
progressively ' oniiu,' ' ondru,' ' ondu,' ' onnu,' and ' onna ; ' and thus 
the derivation of ' onna ' from ' oru ' is found to be strictly in accord- 
ance with analogy. 

It may be objected that the illustrations which have been given 
above exhibit a change of the hard ' r ' into ' ndr,' whereas the ' r ' 
of ' oru ' is the soft medial ; and that, therefore, the analogy, though 
very remarkable, is not complete. I answer that, though the ' r ' of 
our present Tamil ' oru ' is certainly the medial semi-vowel, not the 
hard ' R,' yet originally the hard ' r ' must have been the very ' r ' 
employed. This appears from the Tamil adjective, odd, single. That 
adjective is 'oRRei' (pronounced 'ottrei'); and it is derived from the 
numeral adjective, one. It has been derived, however, by the usual 
process of doubling the final consonant, not from ' or-u,' but from 
'or,' — evidently a more ancient form of the word, in which the 'r' 
was the hard, rough ' r,'— that very ' r ' which is usually euphonised 
into ' ndr.' 

It appears, therefore, that the origin which I have ascribed to 
' onru ' is in complete accordance with analogy. Moreover, if the 
'n' of 'ondru,' 'ondu,' or 'onna,' were part of the root of this 
numeral, the ' du ' which is suffixed to it could only be a neuter 
formative; and in that event ' on' should be found to be used as the 
numeral adjective. ' on,' however, is nowhere so used ; and therefore 
both the use of ' or-u,' instead of ' on,' as the numeral adjective, and 
the existence of the derivative ' 0R(R)ei ' (' ottr-ei'), single, prove that 
the root of this numeral must have been ' or,' not ' on.' 

Though ' or,' in its primitive, uunasalised shape, is not now found 
in the cultivated DrS,vidian dialects as the first abstract neuter noun 
of number for one, or wnUy ; yet it appears in one of the ruder dialects 
of the family, viz., in the Eajmahal or Male; in which the numeral 
noun one is ' art,' or ' ort,' which is evidenly formed directly from 
' ar ' or ' or.' If it is true, as has been asserted, that the Male ' art ' 
is appropriated to human beings, it must be identical with the Tamil 


' orutt-au,' one man, ' orutt-i,' one woman; the ' tt ' of which is a for- 
mative, and is derived from the pronoun of the third person. See ' The 
Noun.' Compare also this form with the Brahui 'asit,' one, of which 
' as,' the crude root, seems to, bear as close an analogy to 'or-a' as 
' mus,' the crude root of ' musit,' the Brahui for tkree, undoubtedly 
does to the Canarese ' mur-u.' If in the latter case the ' s ' and ' r' 
are mntnally convertible, it cannot be considered improbable that 
' asit ' and ' art,' and consequently ' as ' and ' or,' bear a similar 
relation one to the other. 

(2.) The basis of the Telugu numeral; signifying ow« seems to be 
essentially different from, that which is used in the other Dravidian 
dialects. There is nothing extraordinary in the discovery in any 
language or family of languages of two roots for one. This would 
naturally arise from the very concrete character of this numeral, and 
the variety of uses to which it is put. Even in Sanscrit we find both 
'eka' and 'prathama,' Two also is represented in Latin by 'duo,' 
' ambo,' and ' secnndas.' 

The Telugu neuter noun of number for one is ' okati,' literally one 
thing, of which the adjectival form is ' oka.' ' okati ' is formed from 
'oka' by the addition of the neuter and inflexional formative, 'ti:' 
and by annexing the usual masculine and feminine sufBxes, the 
Telugus form ' okaradu ' or ' okadu,' one man, and ' okate,' one woman. 
' oka ' being found to be the crude root of this numeral, we have now 
to inquire into its aflSnities. 

Is the Telugu 'oka' derived, as has sometimes been supposed, 
from the Sanscrit ' eka,' one 1 It seems not improbable that the 
Telugu word has some ulterior connexion with the Sanscrit one, to 
which it bears so great a resemblance: but it is impossible to suppose 
it to have been directly derived from the Sanscrit, like the Bengali 
' ok,' or even the Persian ' yak ; ' for the Tielugu has borrowed and 
occasionally uses the Sanscrit numeral 'eka,' in addition to its own 
'oka;' and it never confounds 'oka' with 'eka,' which Telugu 
grammarians regard as altogether independent one of another. It will 
be seen also that words closely analogous to ' oka.'' are used in the 
whole of the Finnish languagesy by which they cannot be supposed to 
have been. borrowed from theSanscrit. Thus the numeral owe is in 
Wotiak ' og,' ' odyg ; ' in Samoiede ' okur,' ' ockur,' ' ookur ; ' in 
Vogoul ' ak,' 'aku;' in Magyar 'egy;' in Lappish 'akt;' in Fin- 
nish 'yxi' Cykrsi)]' in Tcheremiss 'ik;' 'ikta; in the Scythian of 
the iBehistun tablets ' ir.' In the Sub-Himalayan languages, we find 
'ako' in Miri, 'akhet' in Naga, and 'ikatba' in Kiiki. 

These remarkable analogies to the Telugu ' oka ' prove that it has 

ONE, 267 

not necessarily, or even probably, been derived from the Sanscrit 
' eka : ' and if the two roots are allied, as they appear to be, it must 
be in consequence of the relation of both the Sanscrit and the Lappo- 
Dravidian families to an earlier form of speech. 

The Tamil infinitive ' okka,' which is used adverbially to mean 
in one, all together, and which forms the ordinary Malayala word for 
all, (with which compare Mordwin ' wok,' all), is supposed by the 
grammarians to be derived from the obsolete verbal root ' o,' to be one. 
This root 'o' is sometimes used adjectivally an Canarese instead of 
' or-u,' in which case it doubles the succeeding consonant ; e.g., 
'ottaleyu' (' o-(t)tale'), one head; 'okkannanu' (' o-(k)kannan'), a 
one-eyed man. It is evident from this, that ' o ' was originally 
followed by a consonant j and that it must have been derived by 
abbreviation either from the Tamil ' or,' or the Telugu ' ok'.' 

Can ' oka ' and ' or ' be in any way allied J It appears very 
doubtful whether there is any relation between them ; and yet 
some few traces of affinity may be discovered. On examining the 
Telugu word for eleven, 'padakondu,' the latter part of this com- 
pound numeral presents some peculiarities which are deserving of 
notice. We should have exppcted to find ' okatl ' used for one in this 
connexion j instead of which we find ' kondu,' a form which is found 
in this compound alone, 'kondu' is here used as a neuter noiin of 
number, and like all such nouns is formed from a crude base by the 
addition of some formative. If the 'k' is euphonic and intended to 
prevent hiatus, like the ' h ' of ' padihedu ' (' padi-(h)-edu,') seven- 
teen, 'kondu' is identical with ' k^ondu,' and ' ondu '; is allied to the 
Canarese ' ondu,' from the root ' or : ' but if, as appears more likely, 
the ' k ' is radical, the crude, adjectival form from which it was derived 
may have been ' kor : ' and if we are. at liberty to adopt this supposi-: 
tion, we may at once conclude that 'kor' was the original form of 
the Tamil-Canarese ' or; ' for the initial ' k ' might eapily be softened 
off (and there are several instances of the disappearance of an initial 
' k'), whilst it could not have been prefixed to ' or,' if it had not. stood 
before it originally. 

Supposing ' kor ' to be an older form of ' or,' it is not difiicult to 
suppose 'kor' and 'oka' to be allied, by the corruption of both from 
a common root. If the old Scythian word foj: ome was 'okor,' cor- 
responding to the , Sjamoiede ' oknr;,' both 'kor' and 'or,' and also 
'oka,' would natujrally be derived from it. A change analogous to this 
appears in ilae Behistun tablets, in which we find that the numeral for 
one which is used in the oldest exjtant specimen of the language of the 
ancient Scythians was 'kir' (corresponding to our supposititious 


Teliigu ' kor '), and that the numeral adjective derived from it was 
'irra' or 'ra.' Here we have an ancient and authentic illustration 
both of the existence of a word for one containing both ' k ' and ' r/ 
and of a derived numeral adjective from which the ' k ' had been 
softened off: and it deserves special notice that 'ra/ the Behistun 
numeral adjective, is identical with ' ra,' the numeral adjective of the 
Ku, a Dravidian dialect. In the Turkish, one is represented by 
' bir,' which seems to be allied rather to the Persian ' bar ' in ' bari,' 
once (and ulteriorly to the Sanscrit ' var,' time), than to the Tamil ' or.' 
The Caucasian numerals for one exhibit a closer resemblance to the 
Dravidian, viz., Lazian ' ar,' Mingrelian ' arti,' Georgian • erthi / 
and it may be noticed that as in the Dravidian ' or,' one, and ' ir,' two, 
so in those Caucasian dialects, ' r ' forms an essential part of hoth those 

Dravidian indefinite article. — The Dravidian numeral adjectives, 
' oru ' and ' oka,' are used like similar numerals in most languages, as 
a sort of indefinite article. The Turkish uses ' bir,' one, in a similar 
manner; and a corresponding usage prevails in the modern European 
languages, as well as in the colloquial dialects of Northern India. 

The only thing which may be considered as distinctive or peculiar 
in the use of the Dravidian numeral adjective one, as an indefinite 
article, is the circumstance that it is not used in the loose general way 
in which in English we speak of a man, or a tree, but only in those 
cases in which the singularity of the object requires to be emphasized, 
when it takes the meaning of a certain man, a particular hind of tree, 
or a single tree. Europeans in speaking the native languages make in 
general too large and indiscriminate a use of this prefixed numeral, 
forgetting that the Dravidian neuter noun, without prefix or addition, 
becomes singular or plural, definite or indefinite, according as the 
connexion requires. 

Two. — The abstract or neuter noun of number signifying two, or 
dmility, is in Canarese ' eradu,' in Tamil ' irandu,'- in Telugu ' rendu,' 
in Tulu ' erad-u,' 'raddha,' or 'randu;' in Malayalam 'renda;' in 
Gond 'rend' orj'rann;' in Seoni G6nd 'rund;' in Tuda 'aed' or 
' yeda.' The Singhalese word for double is ' iruntata.' In all the 
Dravidian dialects the corresponding numeral adjective is ' ir,' with 
such minor modifications only as euphony dictates. This numeral 
adjective is in||Tamil ' iru ;' in the higher dialect ' ir,' the increase in 
the quantity of the radical ' i,' compensating for the rejection of the 
final euphonic ' u.' The ' r ' which constitutes the radical consonant 

TWO. 269 

of ' ir,' is the soft medial semi-vowel j and it evinces in consequence 
of its softness a tendency to coalesce with the succeeding consonant, 
especially in Canarese and Telugu. Thus, for ' iruvar,' Tarn., two 
persons, the modern Canarese uses ' ibbar-u ' (ancient dialect ' irvar '), 
and the Telugu ' iddar-u.' Instead, also, of the correct ' irunuRu,' two 
hundred, of the Tamil, both the Telugu and the Canarese have 
' innuRu ;' and the Canarese word for twenty is ' jppattu,' instead 
of 'irupattu,' which would be in correspondence with the Tamil 
' irubadu ' and the Telugu ' iruvei.' 

In the Canarese neuter noun of number 'eradu,' two, 'e' is used 
instead of 'i' as the initial vowel; but in this point the Canarese 
stands alone, and in all the compound numerals, even in the Canarese* 
the ' i ' re-appears. Were it not for the existence of the numeral 
adjective 'ir-u' or 'ir,' we might naturally suppose the 'i' of the 
Tamil ' irandu ' and of the obsolete Canarese ' iradu ' to be, not a 
component element of the root, but an euphonic prefix, intended to 
facilitate pronunciation. ' i ' is very commonly so prefixed in Tamil; 
e,g., ' ra,' niglit (from the Sanscrit ' rS.tri '), becomes ' ira,' and by a 
further change ' iravu.' This supposition with respect to the euphonic 
character of the ' i ' of ' irandu,' might appear to be confirmed by the 
circumstance that it disappears altogether from the numeral nouns of the 
Telugu, the Malayalam, and several other dialects. The( existence, how- 
ever, of the numeral adjective ' ira ' or ' ir,' in every one of the Dravidian 
dialects, and its use in all the compound numbers (such as ' twenty ' 
and ' two hundred '), suflBce to prove that the ' i ' of the Tamil- 
Canarese numeral noun ' irada ' is not merely euphonic, but is a part 
of the root itself, and that ' iradu,' the neuter noun of number, has 
been formed from ' ir' by the addition of a formative sufiBx. A com- 
parison of the various forms shows clearly that ' ir,' euphonised into 
' iru,' was the primitive form of the numeral adjective two : and we 
have now only to inquire into the characteristics of the numeral noun. 

The Canarese ' eradu ' (or rather ' iradu,' as it must have been 
originally) is the earliest extant form of the noun of number. The 
Tamil is ' irandu,' ' d ' having been euphonically changed to ' nd.' 
Though there is a nasal in the Tamil word which is now in use, the 
Tamil noun-adjective double bears witness to the existence of an 
earlier form, which was destitute of the nasal, and which must have 
been identical with the Canarese. The Tam. word ' iratt-u,' double, 
is formed directly from 'irad-u,' by the doubling of the 'd,' as is 
usually done when a noun is converted into an adjective; and the 
enphonic change of ' dd ' into ' t* ' is according to rule. ' du ' or 
' du ' is a very common termination of neuter nouns, especially of 


appellative neuters, in all the Drividian languages. Thus, from the 
root 'kira,' Tam., old, is formed 'kiradu, that which is old.' The 
■ n ' which is inserted before ' d ' in the Tamil ' irandu ' is evidently 
euphonic, and is in perfect accordance with the ordinary phonetic 
usages of the Dravidian languages. In Telugu every word ending in 
' du,' receives in pronunciation an obscure nasal, whether it has a place 
in the written language or not; and there are many instances in 
Tamil also of the insertion of this nasal before a final ' du ' for the 
sake of euphonisation, when it is quite certain that there was no such 
nasal originally in the word in which it is found : e.g., 'andu,' there, 
'indu,' here, and ' yandu,' where V are euphonised forms of ' adu,' 
' tdu,' and ' yadu.' Compare also ' karandi,' a spoon, Tamil, with the 
more primitive Telugu ' garite.' The Tamil noun of number, signify- 
ing two, must, therefore, have been ' iradu ' originally. In the Gond 
' rann,' the ' d ' of ' irandu ' has disappeared altogether ; a change 
which is in accordance with the Malayala corruption of ' ondu,' one, 
into ' onna.' The Uraon word for two, ' enotan,' is probably Dravi- 
dian. In Ur&on ' otan ' (from the Hindi ' gotan ') is a suflSx of each 
of the first three numerals; consequently 'en* is to beregai^dcd as the 
Uraon root, and this seems to be analogous to the Dravidian ' er.' 

There are no analogies to ' ir,' two, in any of the Indo-European 
languages, and I am doubtful whether any real analogies to it are 
discoverable even in the Scythian group, except perhaps in the 

The Brahui vindicates its claim to be regarded as in part Dravi- 
dian, or at least as the inheritor of an ancient Dr&vidian element, by 
the close affinity of its second and third numerals to those of the Dra- 
vidian tongues. In Brahui two is 'irat;' and when this word is 
compared with the Brahui ' asit,' one, and ' musit,' three, it is evident 
that in each of these instances the final 'it' or 'at,' is a formative 
suffix which has been appended to the root. Consequently ' ir,' the 
root of ' ir-at,' is absolutely identical with the Dravidian ' ir.' Even 
the Brahui formative evinces Dravidian afiinities ; e.g., compare ' irat' 
with the Canareise noun of number ' erada,' and especially with the 
Tamil derivative ' iratt-u,' double. 

The nearest analogies to the Drividian ' ir ' which I have noticed 
in other families of tongues, are in the Caucasian dialects; e.g., in the 
Georgian ' ori ;' in the Suanian (a dialect of the Georgian) ' eru ' or 
' ieru ;' in the Lazian ' zur ;' and in the Mingrelian ' shiri :' compare 
also the Armenian ' ergov.' 

In the Samoiede family of tongues, several words are found which 
bear at first sight some resemblance to the Dr&vidiau ' ir.' These are 

THREE. 271 

'sit,' 'side,' and especially 'sire' or ' siri.' It seems improbable, 
however, that the Dravidian ' ir' arose from the softening off of the 
initial 's' of these words; for in the Finnish family this same 's' 
appears as ' k;' whence two is in some dialects of that family 'kit;' in 
Magyar ' ket,' ' ketto- ;' and in Lappish ' quekt.' It has also been 
shown that an initial 'k' is a radical element in the majority of the 
Scythian words for two ; and hence, though the Mongolian ' kur-in ' 
(for 'kuyar-in'), twenty, becomes in Manchu ' or-in,' in Turkish 'igir- 
mi ;' we cannot venture to compare this Manchu ' or ' with the Dri- 
vidian ' ir ' or ' er ;' for it is certain that the latter was never preceded 
by 'k,' or any other consonant, so far back as the Dravidian languages 
can be traced. 

Three. — The neuter noun of number signifying three or a triad, is 
in Canarese ' muru ;' in Telugu ' mudu ;' in ancient Telugu, as quoted 
by Pliny, and testified to by native grammarians ' modoga ;' in Tamil 
'munRu' (pronounced ' mundru,' ' mundu,' and ' munu ') ; in Malay- 
alam ' munna ;' in Tulu ' miiji ;' in Gond ' mund j' in Tuda ' mud' ;' 
in Uraon 'man-otan.' 

The numeral adjective three, which is employed in three persons, 
thirty, three hundred, and similar compounds, is either ' mu ' or 'mu.' 
The long ' mil ' is found in the Tamil and modern Canarese epicene 
nouns, ' muvar,' ' muvar-u/ three persons, and in the Canarese 
' mupattu,' thirty. The shorter form ' mu,' is used in three hundred ; 
which in every one of the Dravidian dialects is 'miinnuru ; and we 
see it also in the Tamil 'muppattu,' and the Telugu fmupphei,' thirty, 
and in the Telugu ' muggar-u,' three persons. 

The primitive and most ■characteristic form of the neuter noun of 
number is evidently that of the Canarese 'mur-u/ from which it is 
clear that the Tamil 'muuB-u' ('mundr-u ') has been derived, by the 
same nasalizing process as that by which ' obu,' one, was converted 
into ' oDBu.' 

Jt was shown in the section on ' Sounds,' that the Tamil ' r ' is 
often changed into ' d ' in Telugu : hence ' mur-u ' and ' mud-u/ are 
identical ; and it is more probable that ' niud-u ' has been altered from 
' mur^n,' than that ' mur-u ' was altered from ' mud-u. ' s ' and ' r,' 
evince in many languages a tendency to interchange, generally by the 
hardening of 's' into ' r ;' consequently the Brahui ' mus' (' mus-it'), 
three, is closely allied to the Canarese '' niur' ■ (possibly it was the ori- 
ginal form of the word), and still more closely to the Tulu ' muji.' 

It is doubtful whether the 'r' of 'niur-u,' should be considered as a 
formative, or as a part of the ancient root. On the whole, it seems 


probable that tbe ' r ' is ladical, for I have not met with any reliable 
instance of the use of a final formative in 'r-u.' The final consonants 
of ' aRu/ Tam., six, and of ' exn," seven, belong unquestionably to the 
roots of those numerals; and the existence in the Brahui word for 
three oi ?iw 's,' corresponding to the Tamil-Canarese ' r,' would seem 
to decide the question, especially seeing that this 'e' is followed by the 
particle ' it/ which is itself a formative. Moreover, when we compare 
' mun-nuRu,' three hundred (the same in all the dialects), with 
'in-nuRu,' two hundred, in Telugu and Canarese ; and when it is 
remembered that the latter has certainly been softened from ' ir-nuRu ' 
(in Tamil 'iru-nuRu '), it seems to be probable that 'raun-nuRu' has 
been formed in a similar manner from ' mur-nuRu,' and consequently 
that ' mur,' not 'mu,' was the original root of this numeral. The same 
conclusion is indicated by a comparison of the Telugu ' iddaru,' two 
persons, and ' muggaru,' three persons. 

It seems probable, therefore, that 'mu' originally was followed by 
a consonant ; and the softening off of this consonant would naturally 
account for the occasional lengthening of 'mu' into 'mu.' 

I have not been able to discover any analogy to this numeral, 
either in the Scythian or in the Indo-European tongues. The only Extra- 
Indian resemblance to it is that which is found in the Brahui ; and 
this circumstance is a striking proof of the existence in the Brahui of 
a distinctively Dravidian element. The total absence of analogy to 
the Dravidian 'mur,' in other families of languages, leads me to sup- 
pose that it must have been derived directly from some Dravidian 
verbal root. The Latin 'secundus,' is undoubtedly derived from 
' sequor ;' and Bopp connects the Indo-European ' tri,' three, with the 
Sanscrit root ' tri,' to pass over, to go beyond, signifying that which 'goes 
beyond^ two. If this derivation of 'tri' be not regarded as too fanciful, 
a similar derivation of 'mur,' from a Dravidian verbal root, may easily 
be discovered. In those languages there are two verbal roots which 
present some points of resemblance, viz., 'miR-u,' Tam. and Can., to go 
beyond, to pass, to exceed, to transgress; and ' rauR,' to turn, an obsolete 
root, which is contained in 'muR-ei,' Tam., order, sticcession, a turn 
{e.g., 'idu un muRei,' this is your turn). ' maR-u,' Tam., Tel., and Can. 
to change, and the Tel. noun ' mar-u,' a time, a course, seem to be cor- 
relative roots. 

Four. — The Dravidian noun of number signifying four, or a qua- 
ternion, is in Canarese 'nalku;' in Telugu 'n&lugu;' in Tamil 'nan-gu;' 
in Tuda 'uonku' or ' nonk ; ' in G6nd 'n&lu;' in Uraon ' nakh- 

FOUR. 273 

The adjectival or crude form of this numeral is ' nal' or ' nal.' In 
Tamil it is ' nal-u,' ia Malayalam ' iial-a/ in some Telugu compounds 
' nal ;' and this adjectival form is often used as a noun of number 
instead of ' nalku,' &c. In composition ' nal ' undergoes some 
changes. The quantity of the included vowel, which is long in all the 
rest of the dialects, is short in Telugu compound numbers : e.g., com- 
pare the Tamil ' nanpadu,' the Canarese ' nalvattu,' and the Malay- 
alam ' nalpadu,' forty, with the Telugu ' nS,lubhei j' and the Tamil 
'nan-nuRu,' and the Canarese 'nal-nuRu, four hundred, with the 
Telugu 'nan-nuru.' 

The final '1' also is subject to change. In Tamil it is changed into 
' B ' before ' p,' as in ' naRpadu,'/orty ; and before ' n ' it is assimilated 
and becomes ' n,' in both Tamil and Telugu ; e.g., ' uannuRU ' (in the 
one), and ' nannuRu ' (in the other), four hundred. These changes of 
'1,' however, are purely euphonic. 

It is evident from a comparison of the above forms, that 'nal' (or, 
as the Telugu seems to prefer it, 'nal') was the primitive shape of this 
■numeral; to which ' ku' or 'gu' was subsequently added as a forma/- 
tive, in order to constitute it a neuter noun of number. This formative 
' ku' (pronounced ' gu ') is a very common one iri the Dravidian lan- 
guages ; e.g., ' kadu-gu,' Tam., mustard, from ' kadu,' pungent. In 
Tamil the only numeral to which 'ku' or 'gu ' is appended is 'nal:' 
but in Telugu we find it used not only by 'nalu-gu,' four, but alsa by 
^ve, six, seven, eight, and nine, in forming rational plurals ; e.g., from 
' aru,' six, is formed ' arugur-u,' six persons. In such connexions the 
Tamil uses ' v ' euphonic instead of ' g ' (e.g., ' aBu-(v)-ar),' which 
proves that ' gu ' does not add to the grammatical expression, but is 
a mere euphonic formative. Even in Telugu 'aruvur-u' may be used 
instead of ' arugur-u.' 

The change of ' 1,' in Tamil, into ' n,' before the ' k ' of this 
appended formative, 'ku,' is an euphonic peculiarity which requires 
to be noticed. In modern Tamil ' 1,' in this conjunction, would be 
changed into 'r;' but the change of '1' into ' n,' before 'k' or 'g,' 
which we find in the Tamil noun of number, ' nan-gu,' is one which, 
though now obsolete, appears to have been usual at an earlier period 
of the history of the language ; e.g., compare ' Pang-guni,' the Tamil 
name of the month March — April, with the Sanscrit name of 
that month, ' Phalguna,' from which it is known to have been 
derived. This change of ' 1 ' into ' n,' in ' nan-gu,' must have been 
made at a very early period, seeing that we find it also in the Tnda 
' nonk.' 

In the entire family of the Indo-European languages there is not 


one language which contains a numeral signifying four, which in the 
smallest degree resembles the Dravidian ' nal' Here the Brahui also 
fails us ; for it is only in the first three Brahui numerals that we find 
traces of Dr&vidian influences, and the rest of the numerals of that 
language from /owr to ten inclusive, are derived from the Sanscrit. 

Though other analogies fail us, in this instance Ugrian afiinities 
are more than usually distinct. The resemblance between the Finnish 
tongues and the Dravidian, with respect to the numeral four, amounts 
to identity, and cannot have been accidental. Compare with the Dra- 
vidian ' nal,' the Tcheremiss ' nil ;' the Mordwin ' nile,' ' nilen ;' the 
Vogul ' nila ;' the Ostiak ' niil,' ' nel,' ' njedla,' ' nieda,' ' njeda ;' the 
Jinuish • proper ' nelja ;' the Lappish ' nielj,' ' nelje,' ' nella ;' the 
Magyar 'negy' (pronounced ' neidj '). The root of all these nume- 
rals is evidently 'nil' or 'nel,' the analogy of which to the Dravidian 
' nal ' or ' nal,' is very remarkable. The Magyar ' negy,' has lost 
the original ' 1,' through the tendency, inherent in the Finnish idioms^; 
to regard '1' and 'd' as interchangeable. The Ostiak 'njedla' or 
' nedla,' in which ' d ' and ' 1 ' form but one letter, a cerebral, consti- 
tutes the middle point of agreement. A similar softening down of 
the ' 1 ' of ' nal,' appears in the Tulu, in which fourteen (ten-four) is 
' pad'naji.' 

Five. — The Dravidian numeral noun five, is in Canarese and 
Telugu 'eid-u;' in Tamil 'eind-u;' in the poetical and colloquial dialects 
of the Tamil 'anj-u;' in Malayalara 'anjcha;' in Tuln 'ein-u' or 
' ein-i ;' in Tuda 'utsh' or 'uj.' The Gond has 'seighan' or 'seiyan, 
— a word which is derived like ' sarun,' dx, from the use of ' s' as an 
euphonic prefix : ' eiyan ' is to be regarded as the correct form of the 
G6nd numeral. The Uraon, and other rude dialects of the North- 
Dravidian family, exhibit no analogy to any of the Dravidian nume- 
rals above /oMr. In Telugu compounds, the word ior five is not 'eid-u,' 
but ' h6n-u ;' e.g., ' padihen-u,' ^liecw. In this case the initial 'h'is 
purely euphonic, and used for the prevention of hiatus, as in the 
parallel instances of 'pada(h)aKu,' sixteerl, and 'padi(h)edu,' seventeen. 
The Telugu possesses, therefore, two forms of fve, ' eid-u ' and:' en-u.;' 
and the Tamil 'eindu' shows how 'eidu' was converted into 'enu,' viz., 
by the insertion of an euphonic nasal and the subsequent assimilation 
to it of the dental. 

The numeral adjective five, is in most of the Dravidian dialects 
' ei,' in Telugu ' e.' In Tamil, and also gcoasionally in Canarese, 'ei' 
is in combination converted into ' ein ' or ' elm,' by the addition of an 
euphonic nasal. Thus Jifli/ (five tens) is in Canarese 'eivatt-u;' in 

FIVE. 273 

Tamil ' eimbad-u ' (' ei-m-pad-u) / in Telugu ' 6bhei' (' e-bhei).' Five 
hundred is in Canarese 'ein-nuB-u,' in Tamil ' ein-njuKu/ in Telugu 
'e-nuR-u.' We see the numeral adjective ^«e, and the noun of number 
five, in juxta-position in the Tamil ' ei-(y)-eind-u,'^i;e times Jive. ' ei ' 
remains also in its pure, umiasalised form in the Tamil ' eivar ' 
{' ei-{v)-a,T'), five persons. The nasal 'n' or 'm,' which follows ' ei,' 
in the compounds ' eimbad-u,' fifti/, and ' einSjuB-u,' five hundred, is 
not to be confounded with the ' n ' of the Tamil ' eind-u,' or the 
Telugu ' en-u,' but proceeds from a different source. It is an euphonic 
adjectival increment ; and is added by rule, not only to this numeral 
adjective ' ei,' five, but to many similar words which consist of a 
single syllable, of which the final is a long open vowel, when such 
words are used adjectivally. Thus, we find in Tamil not only such 
compounds as ' eintinei' (' ei-n-tinei'), the five conditions, and 'eimpulan' 
{' ei-m-pulan '), the five senses ; but also ' keinnodi ' (' kei-n-nodi '), a 
snap of the finger, and ' mangkai ' (' ma-ng-kai '), a mangoe, literally 
the fruit of the ' ma.' 

This adjectival, euphonic addition is an abbreviation of 'am' (or 
' an ' before a dental), and is probably from the same origin as the in- 
flexional increment ' in ' or ' an.' See the section on ' Nouns.' 

It may be doubted whether the Tamil-Canarese ' ei,' or the Telugu 
' e' is the better representative of the original numeral ; but the evi- 
dence of the various dialects preponderates in favour of ' ei.' 

A remarkable resemblance must have been noticed between the 
Sanscrit ' panchan,' fiive (in Tamil ' panja '), and the true Tamil 
' anju,' and the Malayala ' atijcha.' The resemblance is so great that 
it has been supposed by some that the Dravidian word was derived 
from the Sanscrit ; but instead of this supposition being confirmed by 
a comparison of the various Dravidian idioms, and of the various 
forms under which this numeral appears, as would be the case if the 
analogy were real, it is utterly'dissipated by comparison, like the appa- 
rent analogy which has already been observed between the Malayala 
' onna,' one, and the Latin ' un-us.' 

The primitive, radical form of the Dravidian numeral five is ' ei ' 
or ' 6,' as appears from its use as a numeral adjective. The abstract 
or neuter noun of number is generally formed from the numeral adjec- 
tive by the addition of some formative. The formative suffix which is 
added to ' ir-u,' two, is ' du ;' and by the addition of ' d-u,' a corres- 
ponding formative, 'ei' becomes ' ei-Axi, five, or five Ikings; which is 
in itself a neuter noun, though, like all such nouns, it is capable of 
being used without change as an adjective. This formative suffix 
'd-u' is an exceedingly common formative of neuter appellative 



nouns in the Dravidian languages, particularly in the Tamil ; and i^ 
doubtless borrowed from, or allied to, the termination of ' ad-u,' it, the 
neuter singular of the demonstrative pronoun, 'eid-u,' the numeral 
noun of both the Canarese and the Telugu, is evidently the original 
and most regular form of this word, 'eid-u' could not have been 
corrupted from ' anj-u,' or even from ' eind-u,' but the corruption of 
' eind-u ' and ' anj-u ' from an original • eid-u ' will be shown to be in 
perfect accordance with usage. 

The first change was from ' eid-u ' to ' eind-u,' by the insertion of 
an euphonic nasal, as in the former instances of ' irad-u,' two, changed 
into ' irand-u.' This euphonic insertion of 'n,' after certain vowels, is 
so common in Tamil, that it may almost be regarded as a rule of the 
language ; and hence preterite participles which end in Canarese in 
' ed-u,' always end in Tamil in ' n-du ;' e.ff., compare ' aled-u,' Can.,. 
having wandered, with ' aleind-u,' Tarn. When ' eid-u ' had been 
changed into 'eind-u,' Tamil usages of pronunciation necessitated a 
further change into 'einj-u' or 'anj-u.' It is a rule of the colloquial 
Tamil that when ' nd ' is preceded by ' ei ' or ' i ' it is changed in jpro- 
nunciation into ' nj.' This change is systematically and uniformly 
practised in the colloquial dialect ; and it has found its way into' the 
classical and poetical dialect also. 

Moreover, in changing ' eind ' into ' einj,' there is a further change 
of the vowel from ' ei ' to ' a,' in consequence of which ' einj' becomes 
' anj.' This change is almost always apparent in the Malayalam, and 
also in the pronunciation of the mass of the people in Tamil. Thus, 
' paReindu,' Tam., having spoken, becomes in Malayalam 'paKaSnju. ;' 
and in this instance we see illustrated the change both of ' ei ' into 'a,' 
and of ' nd ' into 'fij :' consequently the perfect regularity of the 
change of ' eind-u,' _^^«, into 'anj-u' and 'anjch-a' is established. 
Where the Malayalam does not change ' nd' into ' nnj,' it changes it into 
•nn ;' e.g., 'nadandu,' Tam. having walked, is in Malayalam 'natannu.' 
This illustrates the process by which ' eind-u' became ' ein-u ' in Tulu, 
and 'en-u' in the Telugu compound, ' padi(h)en-u,'^/!«ew. 

It is thus evident that the apparent resemblance of the Dravidian 
'anju' to the Sanscrit ' panchan ' is illusory. It entirely disappears 
on examination, and the slight resemblance which does exist is 
found to arise from the operation of Dravidian principles of sound. 
Consequently 'ei' or ' e,' must be regarded as the sole representative; 
of the Dravidian numeral, and with this it is evident that neither 'pan- 
chan,' nor any other Indo-European form has any analogy whatever. 

In some of the Finnish tongues the word for Jive has some slight 
resemblance to the neuter Dravidian numeral ' eid-u.' The VogoUl is- 

' SIX. 277- 

' at ;' ■ the Ostiak 'uut' or 'wet;' the Magyar 'of (prbnounoed 
somewhat like 'et.' I am doubtful, however, whether this resem- 
blance is not merely accidental ; for the final ' t ' of the Ugrian words 
for five appears to be radical ; whereas the final ' d ' of the Dra vidian 
noun of number, ' eid-u,' is simply a neuter formative. The Chinese 
'u ' ma;y, perhaps,' be compared with the Dravidian numeral adjective 

In some languages the word used to signify five properly means a 
hand, or is derived from a word which has that meaning, — the number 
of fingers in each hand being five. In Lepsius's opinion, the word for 
ten which is used in all the Indo-European dialects, had its origin in 
the Maeso-Gothic 'tai-hun,' two hands. Applying this principle to 
the Dravidian languages, ' ei,' five, might be presumed to be derived 
from 'kei,' Tarn., a hand, by the very common process of the softening 
away of the initial consonant. On the other hand, I do not consider 
'kei,' a hand, to be itself a primitive, underived word. I have 
little doubt but that it is derived from 'ki,' 'ge,' 'gey,' or 'chey,' to do, 
like the corresponding Sanscrit word ' kara,' a hand, from 'kri' to do ;, 
and in accordance with this opinion, I find that ' kei,' Tarn., a hand, 
has in Telugu become ' che,' just as the Canarese 'gey,' to do, has 
become ' chey,' in both Tamil and Telugu. 

Hence the derivation of ' ei,' five, from ' kei,' a hand, becomes im- 
peded by the previous question, is not ' kei ' itself a derivative? 

Possibly 'ei' may be more nearly allied to the High Tamil abstract 
noun 'ei-mei,' closeness, nearness, a crowd, from an obsolete verbal root 
' eij' to he close together. In this case the use of ' ei ' as a numeral, 
would take its origin from the close juxta-position and relation of the 
five fingers of the hand. 

Six. — In all the Dravidian dialects, the difierence which is found 
to exist between the neuter noun of number six and the numeral 
adjective is extremely small. The numeral noun is 'aRu' in 
Tamil, Telugu, and Canarese ; ' ana ' in Malayalam ; and ' ar ' or ' or ' 
in Tudaj in G6nd 's-arun.' In Tulu it is 'aji,' a form which bears the 
same relation to ' aRU ' that * muji,' Tulu, three, does to the Canarese 
' miiru.' 

The numeral adjective differs from the noun of number with 
respect to the quantity of the initial vowel alone ; and in some cases 
even that difference does not exist. In all Tamil compounds in which 
' aK-u ' is used adjectivally, it is shortened to ' aR-u ;' e.g., ' aRubadu/ 
dicti/. The vowel is short in the Can. 'aravattu,' and the Telugu 
'SLRMvei,' siocty; whilst it is long in the higher compound 'arunuru. 


Can., and ' aRnuRu/ Tel., six hundred. In Tamil it is short in tue 
hundred, but long, as in the other dialects, in six thousand. Probably 
' &R-U ' was the primitive form of this numeral, the initial Towel of 
■which, like the included vowel of the personal pronouns, was euphoni- 
cally shortened in composition. 

No analogy whatever can be traced between this Dravidian 
numeral and any word for six that is contained in the Indo-European 
languages ; and I am very doubtful whether any Sojrthian analogies 
are discoverable. In Magyar six is ' hat ;' in the Turkish languages 
' alty,' ' alte,' &c. It Tnay be supposed to be possible that the first 
syllable of the latter word, ' al,' is allied to the Dravidian ' aR',' in 
virtue of that interchange of ' 1 ' and ' r,' which is so common in the 
Scythian tongues. It may be conceived also, that the Turkish ' alt, 
and the Magyar ' hat ' are allied. I have no faith, however, in these 
indistinct resemblances of sound; for the Magyar ' at' seems originally 
to have had an initial consonant. ' kot ' is the corresponding numeral 
in Lappish, and ' kusi ' in Finnish ; in Tcheremiss ' kut ;' whereas, 
there is no reason to suppose that the Dravidian 'aR' ever commenced 
with a consonant; nor do I suppose it very likely that in the rude 
Scythian tongues, in which even the numerals of cognate dialects 
differ from one another so widely, any real analogy with the Dravidian 
numerals above /owr or Jive would be discoverable. 

Seven. — The Dravidian noun of number seven is ' er-n ' in Tamil, 
' er-a ' in Malayalam, ' el-u ' in Canarese and Tulu, ' ed-u ' in Telugu. 
These differences are in accordance with the rule that the Tamil deep, 
liquid, semi-vowel ' r ' becomes ' d,' in Telugu, and ' 1,' in Canarese. 
In the Tnda this numeral is 'er' or 'iid;' in Mahadeo Gond 'y-enu' 
or ' y-etu ;' in Seoni Gond ' ero.' 

The numeral adjective seven, which is used in the compound 
numbers seventy, seven hundred, &e., exhibits a few trivial differences 
from the noun of number. In Tamil 'er-u' is shortened to 'er-u' 
when used adjectivally, like ' kn-u,' six, which is similarly shortened 
to ' aR-u.' 

In Canarese seventy is 'eppattn,' in which not only is 'e' shortened 
to ' e,' but the radical consonant ' 1,' answering to the Tamil 
• r,' has been assimilated to the initial consonant of the succeeding 

In 'filnuru,' Can., seven hundred, this assimilation has not taken 
place. In Telugu, the ' d ' of • ed-u ' does not appear to be very 
persistent. In ' elnuRu,' seven hundred, ' d ' becomes ' 1 ' as in the 
Canarese; and in ' debhei,' seventy (for 'edubhei'), the initial vowel 'e' 

EIGHT. 279 

has been diaplaiced, according to a peculiar usage of the Telugu, which 
was eisplained in the aection on 'Sounds.' 

This displacement of the initial vowel shows that the ' e ' of the 
suppositious ' ednbhei ' was short, as in the corresponding Tamil and 
Canarese compounds. 

It cannot be determined with perfect certainty which of the three 
consonants, 'r/ ' d,' or ' 1/ was the primitive one in this numeral; but 
as the Tamil ' r ' changes more easily into ' 1 ' or ' d/ than either of 
those consonants into ' r,' and could also be changed more easily than 
they into the 'n ' of the Gond, probably 'er-n,' as in Tamil, is to be 
regarded as the primitive form of this numeral ; from which ' ed-u ' 
and 'el-u' were derived. 

No resemblance to this Dravidian numeral is to be found in any of 
the Indo-European languages; and the slight apparent resemblances 
which may perhaps be traced in some of the Scythian tongues, are not 
I fear, trustworthy. Compare with the Telugu 'ed-u,' the Turkish 
' yedi ;' the Turkish of Yarkand ' yettah ' (the root of which appears 
in the Ottoman Turkish ' yet-mish,' seventy); and the Magyar 
' het.' 

In Armenian, seven is 'yotn,' in Tahitian 'hetu.' The 'h' of the 
Magyar numeral and the ' y' of the Turkish seem to be identical; but 
both have been derived from a harder sound, as will appear on com- 
paring the Magyar ' het ' with the Lappish ' kietya,' and with the 
corresponding Finnish ' seit,' in ' seitzeman.' 

Eight. — The Tamil numeral noun 'ettu,' eijrAi, bears a remarkable 
resemblance to the corresponding numeral of the Indo-European 
family, which is in Latin 'octo,' in Gothic 'ahtau; and especially to 
' atta,' the manner in which ' ashman,' Sans, eight, is written and pro- 
nounced in classical Tamil, in which it is occasionally used in com- 
pounds; hence it has naturally been supposed by some, that the Tamil 
'ettu' has been derived from, or is identical with, this Sanscrit 
derivative ' atta.' It will be found, however, that this resemblance, 
though so close as to amount almost to identity of sound, is accidental ; 
and that it disappears on investigation and comparison, like the 
resemblance between ' onna ' and ' unus,' ' anju ' and ' pancha.' 

The Dravidian noun of number eight is in Tamil ' ettu,' in Malay- 
alam ' ett-a/ in Canarese ' ent-u,' in Telugu ' enimidi ' or ' enmidi,' in 
Tulu ' enuma,' in trond ' anumar ' or ' armiir,' in Tuda ' etthu,' ' vet,' 
'oet' or 'yeta.' 

The corresponding numeral adjective, which should by rule exhibit 
the primitive form of the word, is generally ' en.' In Tamil ' en ' is 


used adjectiyally for eight in all compound numerals; e.g., ' enbadu, 
eighty, ' en-nuRu/ eight hundred, as also in miscellaneous compounds, 
such as 'en-kanan,' he who has eight eyes. The same form is used 
adverbially in ' en-ern,' eight times seven. In Canarese, in which the 
numeral noun is ' entu/ ' en ' is used as the numeral adjective in 
'envar-u/ eight persons; whilst in 'embattn/ eighty, 'n' is changed 
into 'm/ through the influence of the labial initial of the second' 
member of the compound. In ' entu-nuru/ eight hwndred, the numeral 
noun is used adjectivally instead of the numeral adjective. The 
Telugu noun of number 'enimidi,' eight, differs considerably from the 
Tamil ' ettu,' and the Canarese ' entu ;' but the difference diminishes 
when the numeral adjectives are compared. The Telugu numeral 
adjective used in 'enabhei/ eighty, is 'ena^' which is obviously identical 
with the Tamil-Canarese ' en.' In ' enamandru,' or ' enamandugur-u/ 
eight persons, and ' yenamannuRU,' &,ght hundred, the 'm' of ' enimidi/ 
eight, evinces a tendency to assume the place of an essential part of 
the root. It will be shown, however, that ' midi ' is not a part of the 
root of this numeral, but a suflBx; and consequently 'en' or 'en,' 
without the addition of ' m,' may be concluded to be the true numeral 
adjective and also the root itself. 

Thus, the apparent resemblance of the Tamil 'ettu' to the Sanscrit 
derivative ' atta ' (euphonised from ' ashta '), disappears as soon as the 
various forms under which it is found are compared. 

The primitive form of the neuter noun of number derived from 'en/- 
is evidently that which the Canarese has retained, viz , ' entu/ which 
is directly formed from ' en ' by the addition of ' tu,' the phonetic 
equivalent of ' du ' — a common formative of neuter nouns, and one of 
which we have already seen a specimen in ' eradn,' two. The Tamil 
'-ettu' has been derived from 'entu' by a process which is in accordance 
with many precedents. It is true that in general, the Tamil refrains 
from assimilating the nasal of such words as 'entu,' and oftentimes it 
inserts a nasal where there is none in Canarese; e.g., ' irandu/ Tam., 
two, compared with the Can. ' eradu :' still this rule, though general, is 
not universal, and is sometimes reversed. Thus, ' pente,' Can., a hen, 
(in modern Canarese 'henteyu,') has in Tamil become 'pettei' — a 
change exactly parallel to that of ' entu ' into ' ettu.' 

Some diflSculty is involved in the explanation of ' enimidi/ the 
Telugu noun of number which corresponds to ' entu/ ' eni ' or ' ena ' 
(as in ' enabhei,' eighty), is evidently identical with the Tamil- 
Canarese 'en:' but what is the origin of the suffix 'midi?' This 
' midi ' becomes ' ma ' in some instances ; e.g., * enama-ndru/ eight 
persons; and tbe Tulu noun of number, eigM, is ' enuma.' Shall we 

EIGHT. 281 

consider 'midi' to be synonomous with 'padi,' ten; and 'enimidi,' 
eight, to be a compound word, which was meant to signify two from 

It will be shown under the next head that in the Teliigu 'tommidi,' 
nine, ' midi ' is without doubt identical with ' padi,' ten. If so, there 
would seem to be a valid reason for supposing that the ' midi ' of 
' enimidi,' eight, is also derived from the same source, and appended 
to ' en ' with the same intent. 

It will be shown in our examination of the Dravidian numeral ten 
that ' padi ' has become greatly corrupted in compounds, especially in 
Teluguj in which the second syllable has disappeared in compounds 
above twenty. If 'midi,' identical with 'padi, were liable to a 
similar corruption, as is probable enough, we may see how ' enimidi ' 
would be softened into 'enama' (in ' enamandru), and also into 
' enuraa ' in Tulu. 

It is a characteristic of the Scythian languages that they use for 
eight and nine compounds which signify ten minus two and ten minvs 
one. In some instances an original uncompounded word is used for 
eight : but nine is always a compound. The Dravidian word for nine 
is, I have no doubt, formed in this very manner ; and this seems to 
be a rational explanation of the origin of the Telugu word for eight. 

On the other hand, in the Tamil-Canarese idioms, ' en ' by itself 
is used to signify eight, without any trace of the use in conjunction 
with it of the word ' pattu ' or ' padi,' ten. It is also deserving of 
notice that in the Telugu ' enabhei,' eighty, the second member of 
' enimidi ' has disappeared. 

It is difficult to determine whether the disuse of ten as a compo- 
nent element in the numeral eight of the Tamil and Canarese is to be 
regarded as a corruption, or whether the use of ten by the Telugu 
in the construction of eight is itself a corruption, arising from the 
influence and attraction of the principle which was adopted in tl^e 
formation of the next numeral nine. On the whole, I consider the latter 
supposition as the more probable, and therefore regard the Tamil- 
Canarese * en ' (in Telugu ' ena,') as the primitive shape of this 
Dravidian numeral. Max MuUer's supposition that ' en ' is identical 
with ' er,' properly ' ir,' two, is quite inadmissible. 

' en ' has no resemblance to any numeral belonging to any other 
language, whether Indo-European or Scythian; and it cannot, I think, 
be doubted, that it was first adopted into the list of numerals by the 
Dravidian people themselves. We have not to go far out of our way 
to seek for a derivation, 'en' is a primitive. and very common Dravi- 
dian root, signifying either to reckon or a number, according as it is 


used as a verb or aa a noun. In Tamil it is ' en/ in Telugu ' enn-u,' 
in Canarese ' en-usu.' We have an instance of its use as a noun in 
' en-suvadi,' Tani., a hook of Arithmetic, literally a nuTiiber hook. After 
the Dravidians of the first age had learned to count seven, they found 
they required a higher numeral, which they placed immediately above 
seven and called ' en,' a numhei — an appropriate enough term for 
perhaps the highest number which they were then accustomed to 

A similar mode of seizing upon a word which denotes properly a 
numher or any number, and using it restrictively to denote some one 
number in particular— generally a newly invented, high number — is 
found in other languages besides the Dravidian. Thus, in Lappish, 
' lokke,' ten, means literally, a numher, from ' lokket,' to count. 

Nine. — in all the Dravidian idioms the numeral nine is a com- 
pound word, which is used indifferently, and without change, as a 
noun of number and as a numeral adjective. 

The second member of the compound numeral nine is identical 
with, or evidently derived from, the numeral ten, the differences 
between it and that numeral being such as can be accounted for by 
the phonetic tendencies of the various Dravidian dialects. 

The principal forms which this numeral assumes are the following: 
in Tamil it is ' onbad-u,' in Canarese ' ombhatt-u,' in Telugu 
' tomraidi,' in Tulu ' ornibo,' ' orambu,' or ' worambu,' in Tuda ' yen- 
bot,' in Kota ' worpatthu : ' in each of which instances the second 
member of the compound plainly represents ten. 

In Tamil ten is ' patt-u; ' nine is ' onbad-u ' (' on-pad-u,' euphoni- 
cally, ' on-badu ') : and not only is it evident that ' patt-u ' and 
'pad-u' are allied, but the resemblance becomes identity when 
' pad-u,' the second member of ' onbad-u,' is compared with the repre- 
sentative of ten in ' irubad-u,' twenty ' — literally twice ten — and 
similar compound numerals. Moreover ' onbad-u ' itself becomes 
' onbatt-u ' when used adverbially, e.g., ' onbatt' — er-u,' nine times 
seven.^ In ancient Canarese ten was 'patt-u,' as in Tamil. In modern 
Canarese it changes by rule into 'hatt-uj' nevertheless the original 
labial retains its place in the compounds ' ombhatt-u,' nine, and 
'embatt-u,' eighty ; from which it is evident that in Canarese nine is 
formed from ten, by means of an auxiliary prefix, as in Tamil. In 
Telugu alone there is some difference between the word which separately 
signifies tm, and the second member of 'tommidi,' the compound 
numeral nine. Ten is in Telugu ' padi,' whilst nine is not ' tompadi,' or 
'tombadl,' but 'tommidi j' and nine persons is 'toramandugur-u.' It can 

NINE. 283 

scarcely be doubted, however, that 'tommidi' has been euphonised from 
' tompadi.' In the other compound numerals of the Telugu (twenty, 
thirty, &c.,) in which ' padi ' forms of necessity the second member, 
the corruption of ' padi ' into ' bhei ' or ' vei ' is still greater than in 
the instances now before us. It may be regarded, consequently, as 
certain that the second member of the various Dravidian words for 
nine is identical with ten. We have, therefore, now to inquire only 
into the origin and signification of the first member of the compound. 

In the Tamil * onbad-u,' ' on ' is the auxiliary prefix by which 
'padu ' is specialised; and this 'on' is evidently identical with the 
Canarese ' om,' in ' ombhatt-u.' Max Miiller, naturally enough, 
concluded it to be derived from ' on,' the first portion of the Tamil 
' ondru,' one : ' but this derivation, though plausible, is inconsistent 
with many facts which will be adduced. In Telugu the auxiliary 
pr«fix of ' tommidi,' nine, is ' torn,' which is undoubtedly equivalent 
to ' om ' in Canarese, and 'on' in Tamil; and as it is more likely 
that the ' t ' of ' tom ' should have been softened away in the 
other idioms than arbitrarily added by the Telugu, it seems probable, 
d priori that the original form of this numeral prefix was ' torn,' as in 
Telugu, rather than ' om,' or ' on.' 

The Tulu appears to have preferred a different prefix ; nine being 
expressed in that language by ' wormbu ' or ' orambu' — a word which 
is probably identical with the Kota ' worpatthu,' and of which the 
first member ' wor ' or ' or ' seems to be allied to ' or,' one, so as to 
give the compound the meaning of one from ten. 

When the various compounds into which nine enters, and the 
various shapes in which it presents itself in the different Dravidian 
idioms are compared, it is evident that the first member of the Telugu 
compound ' tommidi,' of the Canarese ' ombhatt-u,' and of the Tamil 
'onbad-u,' must originally have commenced with 't.' Though this 
't' is not found in the Tamil 'ombadu,' yet it has retained its place 
in the higher and less used members, viz., ' tonnuR-u,' ninety, and 
' tol-ayiram,' nine hundred. In Telugu it is found not only in nine, 
but in all compound numerals into which nine enters : and in Canarese, 
though it has disappeared from nine and nine hundred, it retains its 
place in 'tombatt-u,' ninety. 

Additional light is thrown upon this prefix by the Tamil ' tol- 
ayiram,' nine hundred, in which ' tol ' is used as the equivalent of ' ton ' 
or 'torn;' and this is evidently the most primitive shape in which 
the prefix appears. Even in the Tamil ' tonnuR-u,' ninety, the prefix 
to 'nuRU is not 'torn' or 'ton,' but is really 'tol,' as every Tamil 
scholar knows. The ' 1 ' is assimilated to the ' n ' of ' nuR-u,' and 


both nasals are changed into the nasals of the cerebral row, by a 
recognized Tamil law of sound. The operation of the same law is 
apparent in the trite word ' enney,' Tam., oil; which is properly ' el 
ney,' the ml or ghee of the ' el ' or sesame, and in which the concur- 
rent consonants '1 ' and ' n ' are converted by rule into ' nn.' 

Seeing that the 'ton' of the Tamil compound 'tonnuRU,' ninety, 
thus resolves itself into ' tol,' in accordance with the higher number 
' tol-ayiram,' nine hundred, it is evident that ' on,' ' om,' ' torn,' and 
' ton,' are but different forms of the same word ; and that ' tol,' being 
the most distinctive form, must be the parent of the rest, and the 
truest representative of the root. In composition ' tol ' will become 
'ton,' or 'tom,' without difficulty; but none of those forms can be 
converted into ' tol ' under any circumstances whatever. A final ' 1 ' 
is constantly and regularly euphonised in Tamil, through the influence 
of the initial consonant of the succeeding syllable or word ; and this 
rule especially applies to the final ' 1 ' of the first syllable of com- 
pounds. When ' 1 ' is followed by ' d,' it is chailged by rule into ' n,' 
e.g., ' kol-du,' having taken, becomes ' kondu in Tamil ; and this 
euphonised form of ' Id ' occupies in the Telugu ' konu ' the position 
of the root of the verb. When '1' is followed by 'p' or 'b,' it is 
ordinarily changed into the cerebral 't;' and this is the consonant 
which we should expect to find in the compound numeral nine, viz., 
' otpad-u ' or ' totpad-u,' instead of ' onbad-u,' ' ombhatt-u,' and ' tom- 
midi.' .The true explanation of the change of 'tolpad-u' into 
' tonbad-u ' is furnished by the poetical dialect of the Tamil, in which 
there are traces of the existence of a system of euphonic changes, 
somewhat different from those which are now in use. ThusJ from ' nal,' 
a verbal root, the ordinary Tamil even of the poets forms ' natpu,' 
friendship ; but we also occasionally meet in the poets with ' nanbu,' 
a rarer and older form ; and this shows the possibility of ' tolpad-u ' 
becoming, by the earlier euphonic process, ' tonbad-u.' The possibility 
becomes a certainty when we find in the Tamil classics a word for 
nine of which the basis is actually not ' on,' but ' ton,' viz., ' tondu,' 
nine, a word which is unquestionably and directly derived from 'tol,' 
and which shows, not only that ' onbadu ' muiSt originally have been 
' tonbadu,' but also that ' tol ' is the basis of the first member of every 
Pravidian form of this compound numeral. 

When the Tel ugu and Canarese compounds ninety, nine . hundred, 
&e., are compared with their equivalents in Tamil, we cannot fail to 
be struck with the great simplicity and regularity of the Tamil com- 
pounds. In Telugu and Canarese, ninety is ' tombei ' and ' tombattu ' 
(literally nine tens), in each of which oompouud numerals ' tom ' is 

NINE. 285 

(ised to signify nine, though properly it does not represent nine, but 
is only the first member of the numeral nine, which is itself a com- 
pound. In like manner nine hundred is in Telugii ' tommannuRu,' in 
Canarese ' ombaynuBu ; ' compounds which are formed on the same 
plan as ninety, though with a fuller representation of both parts of the 
compound nine, which tbey adopt as their first member. In Tamil, 
on the other hand, the composite numeral nine is altogether lost sight 
of in the construction of the compounds ninety and nine hundred; and 
those compounds are formed (by means of the same expedient, it is 
true, as nine, but independently of it) by prefixing ' tol ' to the word 
a hundred in order to form ninety, and the same ' tol ' to a thousand 
in order to form nine hundred. In these instances 'tol' must be 
regarded as an adjective, not signifying any one numeral in particular, 
but having some such general signification as defect, diminution, or 
minus; and thus we arrive at the conclusion that it must have had 
the same meaning in «me also. As 'tonnuB-u' (' tol-rma-xi'), ninety ^ 
means <Ae 'tol' {ov defective) hundred, s,\ida,s ' tol-ayiram,' nine hundred, 
means the 'tol '.(or defective) thousand; so 'onbad-u' (' tonbadu '), 
nine must mean the ' tol ' (or defective) ten. 

We have here, doubtless, the primitive Dravidian mode of forming 
the higher compounds of which nine is the first member. The absence 
of this idiom in tbe higher compound numerals of the Telugu and 
Canarase is an illustration of the greater antiquity of the Tamil; 
whilst the formation of nine on this peculiar plan in both Telugu and 
Canarese shows that originally it was the common property of all the 
dialects. Its mode of forming the higher compounds corresponds to 
the Scythian mode of forming eight and nine, as has already been 
pointed out. The higher as well as the lower compounds are formed 
in this manner in Ostiak ; e.g., from ' nit,' eight, and ' sot,' a hundred, 
is formed ' nit sot,' not only eight hundred, but also eighty. It cor- 
responds also to the use of 'un' to denote diminution hy one in the 
Sanscrit ' unaviwshati,' nineteen, and the parallel Latin ' undeviginti.' 

It only remains to inquire into the origin and meaning of the 
prefix 'tol.' It is not to be confounded with 'tol,' ancient, the '1' 
of which belongs to a different ' varga:' and yet that '1' also supplies 
us with several good derivations. Though ancient is the meaning of 
' tol ' in Tamil, it is used to signify first in Telugu; e.g., 'toli-varam,' 
the first day of the week, and the meaning, first, might naturally flow 
from an earlier meaning, one, of which however no trace remains. 
Another possible derivation is from ' tol-a,' Tel. and Can., a hit, or 
division (as in an orange or jack-fruit) ; and a better one still is ' tola- 
ga,' Tel., an infinitive, which is used adverbially to signify off; e.g., 


'tolaga tiyu/ to take of. The objection to all these derivations is that 
the Tamil numeral prefix is not ' tol/ but ' tol ;' and that those con- 
sonants are most carefully discriminated in all Tamil dictionaries. 
There are two similar roots containing the surd ' 1 ' in Tamil, viz., 
' tol/ loo&e, lax, and ' tul-ei ' or ' tol-ei ' (Can., ' toll-u '), to hollow, to 
perforate; as an adjective, perforated; e.g., 'tollei kadu,' a long, pen- 
dent, perforated ear. These meanings do not harmonize very well 
with the use of ' tol ' as a diminuent prefix to the higher numerals, 
and yet it appears probable that the word is the same. We must, 
therefore, take refuge in the supposition that originally 'tol ' conveyed 
the meaning of deficient or diminished. 

It seems scarcely necessary now to add that there is no afiinity 
whatever, as some have surmised, between the initial portion of the 
Tamil ' onbadu " and the Greek ' iwea.' The Manchu ' onyan,' nine, 
has not only some resemblance to the Dravidian word, but seems to be 
a compound formed on similar principles. Nevertheless the ultir 
mate component elements of the Manchu word — 'emu,' one, and 'Juan,* 
ten — have no resemblance whatever to the Dravidian. 

^en. — In all the Dravidian languages the words used for ten are 
virtually the same; in Tamil 'patt-u,' in Canarese 'hatt-u,' in Telugu 
'padi,' in Tuda 'pota,' in Gond 'pudth.' 

In those Tamil compound numerals in which ten is the second 
member; e.g., ' irubadu,' twenty, ' pattu ' becomes ' padu' (euphonically 
' badu '), which is apparently the oldest extant form of this numeral, 
and in close agreement with the Telugu ' padi.' 

In the Tamil compound numerals under twenty, in which fen con- 
stitutes the first number, e.g., 'padin-aRu/ sixteen, literally <e?i-|-«ia;/ 
' pad-u ' becomes converted into ' pad-in,' the ' in ' of which I consider 
to be either an adjectival formative used as an euphonic augment, or 
an euphonic augment used as an adjectival formative. In 'patton- 
badu,' nineteen, 'pattu,' which I regard as an adjectival form of 
' padu,' is used instead of ' padin ' — the prefix of all the rest of the 
teens in Tamil, except ' pannirandu,' twelve. That is simply a cor- 
ruption of ' padin -irandu.' 

The Telugu 'padi,' ten, is evidently identical with the Tamil 
' padu ;' as ' adi,' Tel., it, is identical with the Tamil ' adu.' The 
Telugu 'padi' undergoes more changes in composition than its equi- 
valents in the other idioms. In the compounds under twenty, in 
which ten is represented by 'pad/ 'padi/ 'pada/ or ' padd/ the 
changes are trifling; the principal being in ' pandhommidi ' ('pan/ for 
'padin/ ten, and 'tommidi/ nine), nineteen; but in the compounds 

TEN. 287 

from twe-niy upwards, in which t&n is the second member of the com- 
pound and is a numeral noun, 'padi' is materially changed. In 
twenty and sixty it ia altered to 'vei;' in thirty to 'phei;' in seventy to 
' bbhei ;' and, in the other numbers to ' bhei.' This change is effected 
by the softening of the 'd' of 'padi,' after which 'pa-i' or 'ba-i' 
would naturally become ' bei,' and then ' vei.' 

In Canarese, ten is ' hatt-u,' by the change of ' p ' into ' h,' which 
is usual in the modern dialect : in the ancient dialect, as in Tamil, it 
is ' patt-u.' In the compounds from eleven to nineteen inclusive, in 
which ten is used adjectivally, and is the first portion of the word, 
' hatt-u ' is represented by ' hadin,' as ' patt-u ' in Tamil by ' padin.' 
In the compounds in which ten is placed last, and is used as a noun 
of number (from twenty and upwards), ' patt-u ' is found in twenty 
and seventy, ' batt-u' in eighty and ninety, and ' vatt-u ' in all the 

The Tulu uses ' patt' ' for the noun of number, and ' pad' ' as the 
numeral adjective. 

The vocabulary of the Dravidian languages throws no light on the 
derivation of 'pad',' the normal form of this numeral. It is quite 
unconnected with ' paRRu,' Tam. (pronounced ' pattru '), to receive, the 
' R ' of which is radical, and connected with ' paRi,' to catch. Ety- 
mologically, the nearest Tamil root to ' pad-u ' is ' padi,' to he fixed 
in, to he imprinted. The noun ' padi' hence may mean anything that is 
noted down, imprinted, or recorded; and the numeral ten might have 
received this name from the use to which it has always been put in 
decimal calculation. Another possible derivation is the Telugu 
' padu-vu ' or ' padu-pu,' a collection, a crowd; e.g., ' kukka padu-pu,' 
a pack of hounds. This word, however, is not recognised by the 
Tamil. The only analogy or resemblance to this numeral which I 
have observed in any other language, is in the ' Koibal,' a Samoi'ede 
dialect, in which ten is ' bet.' It seems improbable, however, that the 
resemblance is other than accidental, seeing that none of the other 
numerals of that language, with the exception of 'okur,' one, bears 
any resemblance to the Dravidian. It is only in the lower numerals, 
from one to four, that any real affinity is to be found or looked for in 
that rude and distant Scythian dialect. 

A Hundred. — The only cardinal number above ten which 
requires to be noticed in a Dravidian Comparative Grammar is that 
of a hundred. In all the Dravidian dialects, without exception, this 
word is ' muR-u.' 

I have not been able to discover any resemblance to this numeral 


in any other family of tongues. In no two Scythian stems do we find 
the same word used to express this high number ; nor indeed amongst 
such rude tribes could we expect to find it otherwise. 

One and the same word for hundred, slightly modified, is used in 
erery language of the Indo-European family, a remarkable proof of 
the unity and ancient intellectual culture of the race; and the Finnish 
word for a hundred, ' sata,' has evidently, like some other Finnish 
words, been borrowed from that family of tongues. 

Tbe Tamil has a verbal root ' nuRu,' to destroy, which is identical 
in sound with ' nuRu,' a hundred; and there is also a related root 
' niit-u ' (in Tel., ' nur-u '), to reduce to powder; but it cannot be sup- 
posed that the numeral 'nuR-u' proceeded from either of these roots. 
A word which may be supposed to be the origin of it is ' nur,' to heap 
up, the suppositious verbal root of ' nuril,' Tamil, a heap. 

A Thousand. — The Dravidian words for thousand are 'ayiram,' 
Tarn, and Mala.; ' savira,' and also 'sa vara,' Can.; ' velu,' softened 
into ' veyyi,' Tel. ; ' sara,' Tulu. ' savira ' or ' savara/ and ' sara,' are 
evidently identical; and we may safely derive both from the Sans. 
' sahasra.' Probably also the Tam ' ayira-m ' was originally ' dsira-ra' 
or ' asra-m,' and therefore an old corruption of the Sans. A priori we 
might have expected to find the Dravidian languages borrowing from 
the Sanscrit a word for expressing this very high numeral. The 
Telugu word for thousand, ' vel-u,' is a purely Dravidian word, and is 
the plural of ' veyi ' or ' veyyi ' (' veyu-lu '). The origin of ' veyi ' 
does not appear; but I am inclined to connect it ultimately with the 
Tamil root ' ve,' to he excessive, to he hot, harsh, &c. 

Ordinal Numbers. — It is unnecessary in this work to devote 
much attention to the Ordinal numbers of the Dravidian languages, 
seeing that they are formed directly, and in the simplest possible 
manner, from the cardinal numbers, by means of suifixed verbal 
participles or participial forms. 

The only exception is that of the first ordinal, viz., the word 
signifying first, which in most of the Dravidian languages, as in the 
Indo-European, is formed, not from the cardinal number owe, but 
from a prepositional root. In the Canarese and Malayalam, the 
numeral one is the basis of the word used for first. 

The base of the first ordinal in Tamil and Telugu is ' mudal/ a 
verbal noun, signifying priority— m time or place, or a heginning. 
This, like all other Dravidian nouns, may be used adjectivally with- 
out any addition or change; and therefore 'mudal' alone, though 


Signifying a heginniny, is often used as an ordinal number in the sense 
oi first. More frequent] y, however, it receives the addition iu Tamil 
of ' am,' which is the usual suffix of the ordinal numbers, and is in 
itself an aoristic relative participle of the verb ' ag-u,' to become. 
When ' mudal ' is used iu Telugu without the usual ordinal or par- 
ticipial suffix, it requires to be put in the inflected form; e.g., not 
'modal,' but 'modati.' The verbal noun 'mudal' is connected with 
the post-position ' mun,' Tarn., before; so that there is the same con- 
nexion between the ordinal number first in the Dravidian languages, 
and the post-position before, which is observed to exist in the Indo- 
European languages between the preposition ' pra,' Sans., before, and 
' prathama,' ' TrpwTo?,' &c., first. -Though the Tamil ' mun,' before, is 
allied to ' mudal,' first, ■ yet neither of those words exhibits the 
ultimate root. The ' n ' of ' mun ' appears in the verb ' mundu,' 
Tam., to get before; but it does not appear to have had any place in 
' mudal ;' of which ' dal ' is a formative termination belonging to a 
numerous class of verbal nouns, and ' mu ' alone is the (suppositious) 
root. ' Mudal,' though itself, I believe, a verbal noun, is also used as 
the root of a new verb, signifying to begin. I have no doubt that all 
these words and forms spring from 'mu,' as their ultimate base. 
* mu ' is evidently a word of relation, signifying like the Sanscrit 
' pra,' priority; and with it I would connect ' mu,' Tam., to be old, 
properly ' mu,' as found in ' mudu,' antiquity, which is a species 
of priority, viz., priority in time. 

In all the Dravidian idioms, the other ordinal numbers from two 
upwards, are formed directlyfrom the cardinal numbers by the addi- 
tion of formative suffixes. The same suffix is added to every numeral 
in succession, without change either in the cardinal number or in the 
suffix itself. 

The ordinal suffix of the grammatical Telugu is ' va ' or ' ava,' e.g., 
' mudava,' third: the Canarese adds ' ni ' or 'ani' to the cardinal 
numbers, e.g., ' miirani,' third : the ordinal of the Tamil is formed by 
adding ' am ' to the cardinal ; e.g., ' mundram,' third. The clear and 
certain origin of the Tamil suffix 'am' from 'agum,' poetically and 
vulgarly 'am,' the aoristic relative participle of 'agu,' to become, 
illustrates the origin of the suffixes of the Telugu and Canarese, 
which, though considerably changed, are undoubtedly identical with 
the Tamil in origin. 

The adverbial forms of the Dravidian numerals are formed by 
means of another class of suffixes from the same auxiliary verb ' agu,' 
to become.. In this instance the suffixes which are used by the Tamil, 
'avadu,' <fec., are neuter participial nouns used adverbially. Often- 


times, however, adverbial numerals are formed by the addition of nouns 
signifying succession, &c., to the cardinal or ordinal numbers; e.g., 'iru- 
muRei,' Tam. twice, literally two times. 

The multiplicative numbers, as has already been stated, are the 
same as the numeral adjectives. 

It only remains to inquire what evidence respecting the aflSliation 
of the Dravidian family of tongues is furnished by the preceding inves- 
tigation of the numerals of that family. 

The evidence is not only decidedly opposed to the supposition that 
the Dravidian languages are derived from the Sanscrit, but is equally 
inconsistent with the supposition of the connexion of those languages 
with the family to which the Sanscrit belongs, either as a member of 
that family, or even as a remote oflFshoot. 

Not the smallest trace of resemblance has been discovered between 
the Dravidian numerals and those of any Indo-European language, with 
the exception of the resemblance of the Telugu ' oka,' one, to the Sans- 
crit ' eka,' as well as to the Ugrian ' og,' ' ak,' and ' okur ;' and in 
that instance I have no doubt that the Sanscrit itself has inherited a 
Scythian numeral, the numeral for one of the Greek, Gothic, Celtic, 
i&c, being derived from a different base. 

All the other numerals of the Indo-European languages spring 
from one and the same root, and are virtually identical; with the soli- 
tary exception of the Gaelic word for jfive ; and hence, when we find 
in the Dravidian numerals no resemblance to those of the Indo-Euro- 
pean tongues, with the exception of the abnormal Sanscrit ' eka,' we 
are compelled to conclude that the Dravidian languages belong to a 
different stock from the Indo-European. 

On the other hand, a comparison of the Dravidian numerals with 
those of the Scythian tongues appears to establish the fact of the exis- 
tence of Scythian, and especially of Ugrian, or Finnish, analogies in 
the Dravidian family. The resemblance between the Dravidian one 
and four, and the corresponding numerals in the Ugrian languages is 
so complete, that we may justly regard, and cannot but regard, those 
numerals as identical. 

The same statement applies to the word for one, which is found in 
the Scythian version of Darins's Cuneiform inscriptions at Behistun. 
The numeral /oMT*, and the other numerals above one, are not contained 
in that unique relic of the ancient Scythian speech of Central Asia ; 
and in this case the negative argument concludes nothing. 

It may perhaps be thought that the resemblance of only two nume- 
rals (one and four) out of ten, cannot be considered to prove much ; 
but it is to be borne in mind that this resemblance is all, or nearly all. 


that is observed in tbe Scythian languages themselves between the 
numerals of one language of a family and those of other languages 
belonging to the same family. 

Thus, it cannot be doubted that the Magyar and the Finnish are 
sister tongues, essentially and very closely allied j and yet with respect 
to four numerals, seven, eight, nine, and ten, no distinct trace of resem- 
blance between them survives ; and it is only in the case of the nume- 
rals owe, two, and /owr, that it can be said, without hesitation, that the 
same root appears to be used in both languages. The Dravidian 
numerals are therefore almost as -closely allied to the Finnish as are 
those of th« Magyaj itself. 

to 2 



Much light is thrown by the pronouns on the relationship of languages 
and families of languages ; for the personal pronouns, and especially 
those of the first and second person singular, evince more of the 
quality of permanence than any other parts of speech, and are gene- 
rally found to change but little in the lapse of ages. They are more 
permanent even than the numerals, the signs of icase, and the verbal 
inflexions : and though, like every thing else, they are liable to change, 
yet their connexions and ramifications may be traced amongst nearly 
all the languages of mankind, how widely soever sundered by time or 

In some instances the personal pronouns constitute the only appre- 
ciable point of contact or feature of relationship between languages 
which belonged originally to one and the same family, but which, in 
the lapse-of time, and through the progress of corruption, have become 
generically difierent. 

This remark especially applies to the pronoun of the first person, 
which of all parts of speech is the most persistent. 

I.— Personal Pronouns. 

1. Pronoun of the First Person Singular. 

Comparison of dialects. — Our first inquiry must be 'What was the 
primitive form of this pronoun in the Dravidian languagesl' 

In Tamil the form which is used in the colloquial dialect is 'nka,' 
the inflexion of which is not 'nan,' as might have been expected, but 
' en ;' and this inflexion ' en ' indicates the original existence of a 
nominative in 'gn.' Though '^n' is no longer found in a separate 
shape, it survives in the inflexions of verbs; in which the sign of the 
first person singular is '6n,' sometimes poetically shortened into ' en.' 


In the higher dialect of the Tamil 'yan ' is more commonly used than 
' nan,' the inflexion of which is not ' yan,' but ' en,' as in the collo- 
quial dialqct.* 

From the examples which have been adduced above, it would 
appear that thete are three forms of the pronoun of the first person 
singular recognized in Tamil, viz., ' nan,' ' yan,' and ' en.' The first of 
these forms, though the most common, was probably the primitive one: 
Its initial ' n ' was first, I think, softened into ' y,' and finally aban- 
doned. It ia not so easy to determine whether the included vowel of 
this pronoun was originally 'a' or 'e.' A comparison of the corres- 
ponding plurals ' nam,' ' yam,' and ' em ' (the. inflexion of ' em '), and 
of the plural terminations of the verb, ' 6m,' ' am,' ' am ' and ' em,' 
leads to the conclusion that 'a' was most probably the original vowel. 

In the singular, 'en' is the only inflexion of this pronoun which is 
extant in Tamil; but in the plural we find not only ' em,' but also 'nam' 
and ' yam.' Though ' nam' is most frequently used as the inflected form 
of the isolated pronoun {e.g., ' namar,' they who are ours, ' nostrates '), 
the initial ' n ' has altogether disappeared from the corresponding form 
in the pronominal terminations of the verb. At first sight we might 
suppose 'nam' and ' nem ' to be the pronominal terminations of the 
High Tamil ' nadandanam,' or ' nadandanem,' we walked ; but the 'n' 
of these terminations is merely euphonic, and is used to prevent 
hiatus. When it is omitted, the vowels which it had kept separate 
immediately coalesce; e.g., 'nadanda-am' becomes 'nadandam' and 
' nadanda-em ' becomes ' nadandem ;' a more common form than either 
of which, but not so correct, is ' nadanddm.' The final ' 6m ' of this 
word could not wejl have been corrupted from ' em,' but would spring 
naturally enough from ' am ;' and of this we have a proof in the cir- 
cumstance that ' am ' (from ' agum,' it is, yes) is also sometimes con- 
verted into ' 6m.' Moreover, whilst there are many instances of the 
change of 'a' into ' e ' or 'ei,' there is not any of the converse. It 
is deserving of notice also, that in this change from the heavier ' a ' fo 
the lighter ' e,' the Dravidian dialects exhibit the counterpart of the 
change of the corresponding Sanscrit pronominal root 'ma' into 'e'/te',' 

* In explanation of the abbreviated form of the pronoun called 'the in- 
flexion,' which has been referred to above, it may here be repeated that in the 
personal and reflexive pronouns of the Tamil, Canarese, MalayMam, and Tulu, 
and in the reflexive pronoun of the Telugu, the ' inflexion,' or basis of the oblique 
cases (which by itself denotes the genitive, and to which the signs of all other 
cases are suffixed), is formed by simply shortening the long included vowel of the 
nominative. The included vowel of each of the personal pronouns is naturally 
long ; and if in any instance the nominative has disappeared whilst the inflexion 
remains, we have only to lengthen the short vowel of the ' inflexion,' in order to 
discover the nominative from which it was derived. 


Tne, &c., In other dialects of the same family, I conclude, therefore, 
that '&' was originally the included vowel of the Tamil pronoun of 
the first person, and that * nan,' the ordinary colloquial form of the 
pronoun, is the most faithful representative of the primitive Tamil /. 
As we proceed in our comparison of the various dialects, it will be 
found that the evidence is cumulativeand gathers strength as we proceed. 
It might appear, indeed, at first sight that ' yan ' was an older form 
than 'nan ;' but before our investigation is concluded, we shall be con- 
vinced, I think, that the ' n ' is radical. ' n ' is known to change into 
' y ;' but ' y ' evinces no tendency to be changed into ' n.' 

In Malayalam, the nominative is 'nj4n' ('ny,' 'jfi,' or 'nj,' the 
nasal of the palatal ' varga,' is to be pronounced as one letter, like the 
' ni' of onion); but the oblique form, or inflexion, is 'en ' as in Tamils 
except in the dative ' inikka,' in which 'en' is altered to 'in.' The 
ordinary Malayala verb is destitute of personal endings : but in the- 
poetry an inflected form of the verb is occasionally used, in which the 
pronominal termination of the first person singular is 'Sn,' precisely as- 
in Tamil. 

The compound sound of ' nj ' or ' ny,' in the Malayala, ' njan ' or 
' nyan,' is a middle point between the ' n ' of ' nan,' and the ' y ' of 
'y&n.' It is a softened and nasalized form of ' n,' from which the 
change to ' y ' is easily made. In like manner, ' nin,' the original 
form of the pronoun of the second person singuliar in all the Dravidian 
dialects, has become in Tamil, first 'niy,' then 'ni;' and in the verbal 
terminations 'aiy,' 'i,' and 'ei.' 

In Canarese, the nominative of this pronoun which is used in the- 
coUoquial dialect is ' nan-u,' as in Tamil, the inflexion of which (as 
seen in ' nanna,' my) is ' nan.' The ancient dialect uses ' an,' the- 
inflexion of which is ' en ' — identical with that of the Tamil. ' an ' is 
evidently softened from the Tamil 'ySn,' as 'yan' from 'nyan,' or 
' njan,' and that from ' nSln'; and the same softening is apparent in the 
Canarese plural ' am ' (instead of ' yam ' or ' nam '), we. The crude- 
form of this pronoun ('na') is sometimes used in Canarese as a 
nominative, instead of ' nanu;' e.g., ' na bandenu,' /cawey and in the- 
same manner in Tamil, 'ni,' the crude form of 'nin,' thou, has altogether 
superseded ' nin.' The pronominal terminations of the first person 
singular of the Canarese verb are 'en' in the ancient dialect, and 'Sne,? 
' enu,' and ' euu ' in the modern. 

The Tulu nominative is ' yin,' the inflexion ' yan,' the pronominal- 
ending of the verb ' e,' which is probably softened from ' en.' 

The Tuda nominative is ' 6n ' (plural ' 6m '), of which ' en ' is the 
inflexion; the singular terminations of the verb are ' en ' and ' ini.' 


In the dialect of the J^otas the nominative i$ ' aue,' the iuflezion 
'en,' and the pronominal ending of the verb 'e,' as in Tulu. 

In Telugu the nominative of this pronoun is ' nen-u ;' in the 
higher dialect ' en-u ' (answering to ' en,' the Tamil-Canarese pro- 
nominal ending of the verb, and ' en,' the Tamil and Ancient 
Canarese inflexion) ; and this preference of ' e ' to ' a ' appears also 
in the plural, which is ' mem-u,' and • in the higher dialect ' em-u.' 
' ne ' may be used at pleasure instead of ' nen-u,' like ' na' in Canarese; 
and in the higher dialect ' eu-u ' is sometimes represented by ' e ' 
alone. • 

The verbal inflexions of the Telugu, use only the final syllable of 
the nominative of each of the pronouns, viz., ' nu ' (from ' nenu,' /), 
' vu ' (from ' nivu,' thau), and ' du ' (from ' vadu,' he). The most 
important and essential part of each pronoun has thus been omitted; 
and the fragments which have been retained are merely formatives, or 
at most signs of gender and number. 

'nenu,' /, takes 'na' for its inflexion or oblique form; and this 
shows that ' a ' not ' e ' was originally the included vowel in Telugu, 
as well as in Tamil and Canarese. This view is corroborated by the 
accusative of this pronoun in Telugu, which is ' nanu ' or ' nannu,' me, 
(compare the Canarese accusative 'nanna' or 'nannu'), and which h:^ 
evidently been derived from a nominative, ' nan ' or 'na.' 

The Ku nominative is ' an-u,' which is identical with that of the 
Ancient Canarese. In the inflexion, which is ' na ' as in Telugu, the 
old initial 'n' retains its place. 

The verbal terminations of the Ku are ' in ' or ' in,' in the present 
tense, and ' e ' in the past ; e.g., ' main,' I am, ' masse,' / was. 

In Gond the nominative is ' ana,' and the inflexion is ' n4,' as in 
Telugu and Ku. In the verbal inflexions ' an ' is commonly found, 
more rarely ' na.' The Seoni Gond nominative is ' nak,' which is 
properly a dative. 

In the Rajmahali the nominative is ' en;' in Uraon 'enan.' The 
Brahui nominative is ' i;' but in the oblique cases {e.g., ' kana,' ofm^; 
' kane,' me, to me), the personal base is ' ka ' or ' kan,' a root which is 
totally unconnected with the Dravidian ' na,' and which is to be com- 
pared rather with the Cuneiform, Scythian, Babylonian, and Gujarathi 
'ku,' 'hu,'&c. 

From this comparison the weight of evidence appears to be in 
favour of our regarding ' nan,' the Tamil nominative, as the best 
existing representative of the old Dravidian nominative of this pronoun, 
and ' na,' the crude form of the Canarese, as the primitive, unmodified 


root. This Conclusion will be found to gain strength from the inves- 
tigation of the pronoun of the second person, the root of which will 
appear to be not ' i ' or ' yi,' but ' ni.' 

Each consonant of ' nan ' evinces a tendency to be softened away. 
The initial ' n,' though the more essential of the two, has been 
softened first into ' dnj ' or ' ny,' then into ' y,' and finally has disap- 
peared ; and in none of the dialects has it, or any relic of it, been 
retained in the personal terminations of the verb. 

The final ' n,' though not a part of the root, has shown itself more 
persistent, especially in the verbal terminations; but in the Telugu. 
and Ku inflexion ' na,' in the Canarese crude nominative 'na,' and in 
the corresponding Telugu ' ne,' it has disappeared altogether. 

The origin 6f the final ' n ' of ' nan ' is doubtful ; but whatever 
were its origin, it does not appear to belong to the root. In. the 
plural, it is uniformly rejected, and ' m,' the sign of plurality which is 
used in connexion with the personal pronouns, is not added to it, but 
substituted for it. In Tamil the singular is ' na-ii,' the plural ' na-m ;' 
and a similar change from ' n ' in the singular to ' m' in the plural, 
takes place in the other dialects also. This appears to prote that 'na' 
alone forms the pronominal base of both numbers of the pronoun of 
the first person; that it denotes either / or we according to the 
singularity or plurality of the suffixed particle ('na-n,' 1 alone, 'na-m,' 
7s); and that the final 'n' of 'nan,' no less than the final 'm' of 'nam,' 
is a sign, not of personality, but merely of number. 

Is the final ' n ' of ' nan ' a sign of gender as well as of number 1 — 
Is it a sign of the masculine singular, and connected with ' an ' or ' n,' 
the ordinary masculine singular suffix of the Tamil? The pronouns of 
the first and second persons are naturally epicene; but it is not unusual 
to find them assuming the grammatical forms of the masculine. Thus, 
in Sanscrit, the terminations of the oblique cases of the pronouns of 
the first and second persons are those which are characteristic of the 
masculine gender. The analogy of the Scythian pronouns, however, 
inclines me to the supposition that the final ' n ' of the Dravidian 
' nan ' was not in its origin a sign of gender or a means of grammatical 
expression, but was merely euphonic, like the final nasal of the Tartar 
' man,' /. Whatever were its origin, it must have had a place in the 
personal and reflexive pronouns from a very early period, for we 
find it in the Brahui 'ten,' self (Compare Tarn, 'tan'), and in the 
Ostiak 'nyn,' thou (Compare Old Dravidian 'nin).' 

If, as we have seen, ' na ' is to be regarded as the primitive form 
of the Dravidian pronoun of the first person, and the final 'n' as 


merely a sigu of number, or as an euphonic formative, it. might appear 
extraordinary, that in the pronominal terminations of the verb, the 
initial ' n,' the primitive sign of personality, has invariably and alto- 
gether disappeared; whilst the first person singular is represented by 
the final ' n ' alone. We might almost be led to suppose the initial 
'n' to be a formative prefix, and the succeeding vowel to be the real 
pronominal base. Formative and definitive pre-fixes, however, are 
utterly unknown to the Drdvidian languages; and the anomaly 
referred to accords with similar anomalies which are discovered in 
other languages. In Hebrew, * anachnu,' we, from ' anach ' (in actual 
use ' anoki '), 7, with the addition of ' nu,' a sign of plurality, is the 
full form of the plural of the first personal pronoun ; yet in the verbal 
terminations, 'anachnu' is represented solely by ' nu,' . the final frag- 
ment, which originally was only a suffix of number. Another and 
stiU more reliable illustration of this anomaly is furnished by the 
Telugu itself. The pronoun of the second person singular in Telugu 
is ' nivu,' thou, from ' ni,' the radical base, and ' vu ' an euphonic 
addition. This ' vu ' is of so little importance that it totally disap- 
pears in all the oblique cases. Nevertheless, it forms the regular 
termination of the second person singular of the Telugu verb; and it 
has acquired this use simply through the accident of position, seeing 
that it is not even a sign of number, much less of personality, but is 
merely an euphonisation. 

Extra-Drdvidian relationship. — We now enter upon a comparison 
of 'na,' the Dravidian pronoun of the first person, with the pronouns 
of the same person which are contained in other families of tongues, 
for the purpose of ascertaining its relationship. As ' na ' constitutes 
the personal element in ' nam,' we, as well as in ' nan,' I, it is evident 
that our comparison should not be exclusively restricted to the 
singular, but that we are at liberty to include in the comparison, 
the plurals of this pronoun in the various languages which are com- 
pared; for it is not improbable A priori that some analogies may 
have disappeared from the singular, which have been retained in the 

All pronouns of the first person singular that have been used at 
any time in Asia, Europe, or Northern Africa, whether it be in con- 
nexion with the Indo-European, the Semitic, or the Scythian family of 
tongues, are traceable, I believe, to two roots only. Each of those 
roots has been preserved in the Sanscrit, and in the more primitive 
members of the Indo-European family — one ('ah ') in the nominative, 
the other and by far the more widely prevalent one ('ma') in the 


oblique cases. In order, therefore, to investigate thoroughly the 
afSliation of the Dravidian pronoun of the first person, it will be 
necessary to extend our inquiries over a wider area than usual. 

(1.) Semitic analogies. — The Semitic pronoun presents some 
remarkable analogies to the Dravidian. This will appear on com- 
paring the Dravidian ' na ' (Gond. ' ana,') with the corresponding 
Hebrew 'ani;' with the prefix 'an' of the Hebrew 'anoki,' of the 
Egyptian ' anuk,' and of the Babylonian ' anaku,' ' anaka,' or 
'ankn;' and especially with the Jewish-Syriac 'ana,' the Christian- 
Syriac ' eno,' and the ^Ethiopic and Arabic ' ana.' The plural of the 
Aramaic 'ana' is formed by suffixing 'n' (the final consonant of 
'in' or 'an'): we may therefore compare the Tamil 'nam,' we, 
with the Aramaic plural ' anan,' and also with the Egyptian plural 
' anen.' 

Notwithstanding this remarkable resemblance between the Semitic 
pronoun and the Dravidian, it is doubtful whether the resemblance ia 
not merely accidental. The Semitic initial syllable ' an,' in which 
the resemblance resides, is not confined to the pronouns of the first 
person. We find it not only in ' ana ' (from ' anah,' and that again 
from ' anah,') 1 ; but also in the Arabic and Old Hebrew ' anta ' and 
the Aramaic ' ant,' thou, (Egyptian ' en-tek,' ' en-ta '). The prefix 
being precisely the same in both cases, the pronoun of the second 
person seems to have as good a claim to it as that of the first. It does 
not seem, moreover, to be an essential part of either pronoun ; for we 
find a similar prefix in the third person in some of the Semitic dialects, 
e.g., in the Egyptian ' entuf,' he, ' entus,' she, and the Chald. and 
Heb. suffix ' enhu,' he. Moreover, the alliance of the Semitic pronouns 
of the first and second persons with the Indo-European comes out 
into more distinct relief when this prefix is laid aside. When the 
initial ' an ' is removed from the pronoun of the first person, we cannot 
doubt the connexion of the remaining syllable ('oki,' 'ah,' 'ah,' 'uk,' 
' aku,' or ' ak,') with the Sanscrit ' ah,' the Gothic ' ik,' and the 
Greek-Latin ' eg :' and it is equally evident that when ' an ' or ' en ' is 
rejected from the pronouns of the second person (' anta,' ' anti,' ' ant,' 
' entek,' ' enta,') the ' ta,' ' ti,' ' te,' or ' t,' which remains is allied 
to the Sanscrit ' tva ' and the Latin ' tu.' 

It has sometimes been supposed that this Semitic prefix ' an ' is 
simply euphonic — a sort of initial nunnation like that which is 
admitted to exist in the Talmudic 'Inhu,' /te, when compared with 
the ordinary and undoubtedly more ancient Hebrew 'hu.' On this 
supposition, it is allied, in nature and origin, to the euphonic suffixes 


or nunnations which may be observed in the Greek ' i<^ui-vt],' in the 
Finnish ' mi-nA,' 1, and in the final nasal of the North-Indian ' main,' 
/, and ' tain ' or ' tuM,' thou. 

If this be the origin of the Semitic prefix ' an,' it must certainly 
be unconnected with the Diavidian ' na ' or ' an^.' 

Colonel Rawlinson supposes ' an ' to be a particle of specifieation, 
a sort of definite article ; and he also considers it to be identical with 
' am,' the termination of the Sanscrit personal pronouns ' ah-am,' / 
' tv-am,' thou, ' va-y-am,' we, ' yu-y-am,' you. The only difference, 
he says, is that the particle is prefixed in the one family of languages, 
and suffixed in the other, with a change of ' m ' into its equivalent 
nasal ' n.' I am unable, however, to adopt this supposition, and 
prefer to regard the Sanscrit termination ' am ' as the ordinary 
termination of the nominative of the neuter singular, and as used 
instead of the masculine and feminine, simply because of the intense 
personality which is inherent in the first and second personal pronouns, 
especially in their nominatives, and which renders the terminations 
of those genders unnecessary. 

The only remaining argument which can be adduced in favour of 
regarding the Dra vidian ' n& ' and the Semitic ' an ' as ultimately 
allied, is the following. In the Semitic languages the first and second 
personal pronouns have one element in common, the prefix ' an.' In 
like manner, when we compare the Dravidian ' na,' /, and ' ni,' thou, 
we find that they also have one element in common, the initial and 
ultimate base ' n.' If it can be supposed that this initial consonant 
denotes personality in general, and that it is the office of the succeeding 
vowel to inform us whether the person referred to is the first or the 
second, then an ultimate connexion may be conceived to exist between 
the Dravidian 'n' and the Semitic 'an:' for whatever may have 
been the origin of the latter particle, it appears to be used like the 
Dravidian ' n,' as a sign of personality in general, and to constitute 
the basis to which ' ah,' the sign of person No. 1, and 'ta,' the sign 
of person No. 2, are suffixed. Probably, however, the resemblance 
between the Semitic and the Dravidian languages in this point, though 
remarkable, is altogether accidental. 

(2.) ' Indo'European analogies. — It has already been remarked 
that there are but two pronouns of the first person singular known to> 
the Indo-European family of tongues, as to the Semitic and Scythiany 
one of which appears in the nominative of the older Indo-European' 
languages, the other in the oblique cases. The nominative of this- 
pronoun is ' ah-am ' in Sanscrit, ' ad-am ' in Old Persian, ' az-em ' \xk 


Zend, ' eg-0 ' in Latin and Greek, ' ik ' in Gothic,' ' ih ' in the Old 
Gennan, 'az' in the Old Sclayonic, 'asz' in Lithuanian, and 'ga' 
in Bohemian. We find substantially the same root in the Semitic 
' ah,'. ' ah,' ' uk,' ' aku,' ' oki,' &c., and in several languages of the 
Malayo- Polynesian group ; e.g., Malay ' aku,' Tagala ' aco,' Tahitian 
' au.' It is evident that there is not the smallest resemblance between 
a,ny of these and the Dravidian ' na.' But though the Indo-European 
nominative has no connexion with the Dravidian pronoun, we shall 
probably be able to establish the existence of some connexion between 
the Dravidian pronoun and the base of the oblique cases in the Indo- 
European languages. 

The oblique cases of this pronoun in the Indo-European family are 
formed from a totally different base from that of the nominative ; and 
of this oblique base the best representative is the Sanscrit ' ma.' ' m ' 
forms the most prominent and essential portion of 'ma;' and this 
' m ' is followed either by ' a ' or by some vowel which appears to 
have been derived from it. In the oblique cases of the Sanscrit, this 
pronoun has the form of ' ma,' whenever the nature of the succeeding 
syllable allows 'a' to remain unchanged j e.g., ' ma-yi,' in me, 
' ma-ma,' of me. In the secondary forms of the dative and the genitive 
it becomes ' ma.' In Zend and Old Persian, ' ma ' preponderates ; 
whilst compounded and abbreviated vowels appear in the Zend dative- 
genitives 'm6,' 'm6i;' and a pronominal base in *ama' is found in 
some of the Old Persian prepositional compounds. In the Greek ';«',' 
' e/te',' ' /ao(,' ' /tot),' &c., the vowel which is employed librates between 
'e' and ,'o,' each of which is naturally derived from 'a;' whilst the 
initial ' e ' of 'ifie ' is in accordance with the tendency of the Greek to 
prefix a vowel to certain words beginning with a consonant, e.g., 
' ovofia' for ' vwfia.' The Latin has 'me,' except in the dative, which 
is ' mihi.' The Gothic has ' mi ' and ' mei.' The Lithuanian uses 
' man ' as the basis of its oblique oases ; though possibly the final ' n ' 
of this form belongs properly to the sign of the genitive. 

In the pronominal terminations of the verb in the Indo-European 
languages, the first person singular almost invariably makes use of 
this oblique pronominal base, in preference to the base of the nomina- 
tive, with such modifications as euphony may require. The termina- 
tion of the first person singular is ' mi 'i or ' m ' in Sanscrit and Zend, 
in all primary and secondary verbs. We have the same ending in 
Greek verbs in ' fu,' and in the ' /lai'' of the middle voice; in the 
•m' of the Latin 'sum' and 'inquam;' in the Lithuanian 'mi;' in 
the Polish 'am;' in the Armenian 'em;' in the New Persian 'am,' 
It becomes 'm' in the Old High German 'gam,' I go; ' tuora,' I do; 


and 'bim' or 'pirn' (Sansc. 'bhavami'), / am; converted in Modern 
German to 'bin.' 

On comparing the pronominal terminations which have now been 
cited, it is evident that the preponderance of use and authority is in 
favour of ' mi ;' and that ' m ' has been derived from 'mi ' by abbre- 
viation. It is equally clear, however, that ' mi ' itself has been 
derived from ' ma,' the normal base of the oblique cases ; for in all 
languages 'a' evinces a tendency to be converted into some weaker 
vowel, 'i,' 'e,' or ' o;' whereas no instance is adducible of the oppo- 
site process. Perhaps the best illustration of the regularity of this 
change from 'ma' to 'mi' is that which is furnished by the Esthonian, 
a Finnish dialect, in which each of the personal pronouns has two 
forms, the one primitive, the other euphonised; e.g., 'ma' or 'minna,' 
1 ; ' sa ' or ' sinna,' thou. 

We have now to inquire whether anyanalogyis discoverable between 
the Dravidian 'na ' and the ultimate Indo-European base 'ma.' 

I am inclined to believe that these forms are allied, and that ' na ' 
is derived from ' ma.' A change of ' m ' into ' n ' — of the stronger 
nasal into the weaker — is in accordance both with Dravidian and Indo- 
European precedents. Thus 'am,' the accusative case-sign of the 
Ancient Canarese is weakened into 'an' ('annu'), in the modern 
dialect ; ' um,' the conjunctive or copulative particle of the Tamil, is 
' nu ' in Telugu ; and even in Tamil itself, ' am,' the formative termi- 
nation of a large class of nouns, is optionally converted into 'an ;' 
e.g., 'uran,' strength, is used by the poetsrinstead of 'uram.' In the 
Indo-European family, in like manner, the change of ' mama,' Sans., 
my, into 'mana' in Zend, and 'mene' in Old Slavonian, has already 
been noticed; but proofs exist also of the special change of the ' m ' of 
'ma' itself — the most radical part of ' ma ' — into ' u.' The final 'm' 
of the first person of Sanscrit and Latin verbs (the abbreviation 
and representative of ' mi ' or ' ma ') has in some instances degene- 
rated into ' n ' in Greek ; e.g., compare the Sanscrit ' asam,' / was, 
and the corresponding Latin 'eram,' with the Greek ''^v;' and 
' adadS.-m ' with ' iSi'-Siu-v.' We see a similar change of ' m ' into 
' n," on comparing the Irish ' chanaiM,' I sing, with the Breton 
'kanaNN;' the modern German 'biN,' / am, with the Old High 
German ' biM ' or ' piM ;' and the Persian 'hastaM,' I dm, with the 
Beluchi ' haatjaN.' Compare also the Laghmani ' p4kaN,' 7 go. 

The 'n' which alternates with 'v,' as the initial and radical conso- 
nant of the plural of the pronoun of the first person in many of thfe 
Indo-European languages, has been derived, I conceive, from the same 
' m.' It was shown in the section on ' Sounds,' that the Dravidian 


• m' is sometimes euphonically d^raded either into ' n' or into ' v ;' 
and that whenever 'n' and 'v' are found to alternate, we have 
reason to consider both to be derived from an older ' m.' In like 
manner the 'va' of the Sanscrit 'va-(y)-am,' we, and the 'na' of 
' nas,' the secondary, oblique form of the same pronoun, appear to be 
mutually connected; and both have probably been derived from 'ma. 
The oldest form of the plural of this pronoun is that which is employed 
in the verbal inflexions, and whitih in Sanscrit is 'mas,' in Latin *mus,* 
in Greek ' uev ' (for the more ancient and more correct .diolic ' ^^9') : 
the most natural explanation of which pronominal ending is to consider 
it as derived from 'ma,' the old first person singular, by the addition of 
' s,' the sign of plurality. The ' m ' of this primeval ' mas ' some- 
times becomes ' v,' e.^. in the Sanscrit ' vayam,' the Zend ' vaim,' 
and the Gothic ' veis ;' and sometimes also it becomes 'n,' e.g. in the 
Latin ' nos,' the Welsh ' ni,' the Greek ' i>wi ;' and also in the Sans- 
crit secondary forms, ' nas ' and ' nau,' the Zend ' no,' and the Old 
Slavonic ' nas.' This ' n' is evidently a weakening of ' m,' and repre- 
sents the personality of the prononn of the first person, irrespective of 
the idea of number ; which is expressed by the subsequent portion of 
the word. This being the case, we seem to be warranted in consider- 
ing it as identical in origin with the ' n ' of the Dravidian ' na' (as ap- 
parent in the singular ' na-n,' and the plural ' na-m'). 

It has been suggested by Col. Rawlinson that the Sanscrit ' nas,' 
the Latin • nos,' and the Greek ' vwi ' (like the ' nu ' of the Hebrew 
' anachnu '), were originally signs of plurality, which have made 
themselves independent of the bases to which they were attached. I 
am unable, however, to adopt this view : for the ' n ' of these forms 
naturally interchanges with ' m,' and evidently conveys the idea of 
personality; and the 's' of the Latin 'nos' (as of the correspond- 
ing ' vos ') is more likely to be a sign of plurality than an abbrevia- 
tion (as Bopp conjectures it to be) of the syllable ' sma.' 

It may here be mentioned, as some confirmation of the supposition 
that the Dravidian ' na' is derived from an older ' ma,' that in Telngu 
' m ' is used as the equivalent of ' n,' and as the representative of the 
personality of the pronoun of the first person in the plural 'mem-u,' 
we. The second ' m' of this word is undoubtedly a sign of plurality ; 
and though the first ' m ' may possibly be derived from ' n,' through 
the attraction of ' m,' the sign of the plural, yet this change would 
more naturally take place, if an initial ' m ' had originally been used. 
On this supposition 'mto-u' corresponds to the Sanscrit ' mas ;' and 
has been weakened into ' nem-u ' or ' nfi,m,' in the same manner as 
' mas ' has been weakened into ' nas.' On the whole, therefore, I 


think we are warranted in coming to the conclusion that the Dravidian 
' na ' and the old Indo-European ' ma ' are allied, and, if so, that the 
former has been derived from the latter. 

(3.) Scythian analogies. — When we examine the personal pronouns 
of the Scythian group of tongues, the views which have been expressed 
above are found to be corroborated : in addition to which, some inde- 
pendent and very interesting analogies to the Dravidian pronoun are 
brought to light. 

The pronominal root which constitutes the basis of the oblique 
cases in the Indo-European languages is adopted in the languages of 
the Scythian family, not only in the oblique cases, but also in the 
nominative itself. Whilst in both families the oblique cases are sub- 
stantially the same, the Indo-European uses as its nominative the base 
in ' ah ;' the Scythian, the base in ' ma.' There are a few languages 
even in the Indo-European family in which ' ma ' has found its way 
into the nominative ; e.g., the Celtic has 'mi,' the New Persian 'man,' 
the North-Indian vernaculars ' maim.' It is observeable, however, that 
in each of these exceptional cases Scythian influences have been in 
operation. The New Persian has been influenced by the Oriental and 
Turkish, the Celtic by the Finnish, and the idioms of Northern-India 
by the Scythian vernacular which preceded the Sanscrit. In some 
cases also, especially in the later dialects of this family, the accusative 
has come to be used instead of the nominative, in violation of existing 
grammatical rules. Thus, the Singhalese ' mama,' the Kawi ' mami,' 
and the later Cuneiform Persian 'mam,' are probably accusatives in 
their origin, like the Italian 'mi' and the French 'moi.' On the other 
hand, we are met by one, and only one, exceptional case in the Scythian 
tongues. The Scythian of the Behistun Inscriptions makes use of 
' hu ' as its nominative ; but in ' mi,' the corresponding possessive 
suffix, the ordinary Scythian base re-appears. 

The nominative (as well as the oblique cases) of the first personal 
pronoun in all existing languages of the Scythian group, is derived 
from a base in ' ma ;' and it will be shown that this ' ma ' not unfre- 
quently comes into perfect accordance with the Dravidian pronoun, by 
changing into ' na.' 

In those languages * ma ' is very generally euphonised or nasalised 
by the addition of a final ' n,' or of an obscure nasal resembling the 
Sanscrit ; ' anusvara :' in consequence of which, not ' ma,' but ' man,' 
may be stated to be the normal form of the Scythian pronoun, and 
this bears a closer resemblance than ' ma ' to the Dravidian ' nan.' 

The addition of this euphonic nasal is not unknown even to the 


Indo-European languages. It may be seen in the Persian ' man,' the 
Sindhian man,' and the Beluohi ' menik ;' and a similar inorganic addi- 
tion is apparent in the Old Greek 'e^tuv' and ' i'^un/rj' as also in 
'Tvvri' and 'tovv.' The first nasal is much more common, howev^er, 
and more characteristic in the Scythian tongues. On examining the 
Turkish family of tongues, we find 'men' in Oriental Turkish ; 'min 
in Turkoman; 'mam' in Khivan ; 'ben' ('m' degraded to ' b ') in 
Ottoman Turkish. In the Finnish family, the Finnish proper has 
' mina ;' the Lappish ' mon ;' the Esthonian ' ma ' or ' rainna ;' the 
Mordwin and Votiak ' mon ;' the Ostiak 'ma' (dual 'min,' plural 
'men'). The Samoi'ede dialects have 'man,' 'mani.' In both* 
Mongolian and Manchu the nominative of this pronoun is 'hi ;' but 
this is evidently corrupted from 'mi' (like the Ottoman 'ben' from 
the Uigur ' men ') ; and it is 'mi,' with nasal, which forms the 
basis of the oblique cases. In both languages the genitive is ' mini :' 
and the dative is 'men-dou' in Mongolian, 'min-de' in Manchu. The 
Tibetan pronoun is 'gnya,' 'gna,' or 'nga' (identical doubtless with 
' ma ') ; the Chinese ' ngo ;' the sub-Himalayan ' gna ;' the Avan 
'nga;' the Mikir 'ne;' the Corean 'nai.' 

It is evident from the above comparison (1), that the true and 
essential representative of the personal of this pronoun in the Scythian 
tongues is 'ma;' and (2) that as 'ma' has been euphonised in the 
Western families of that group into ' man,' so it also evinces a tendency 
in the eastern stems to change into ' nga ' or ' na.' In many of those 
idioms ' ma ' still retains its place unchanged, or may optionally be 
used instead of the later 'man.' The Mingrelian has 'ma,' the 
Suanian ' mi,' the Lasian ' ma,' the Georgian ' me.' The Finnish has 
both ' me ' or ' ma ' and ' mina,' and also ' mia :' the Ostiak both 
' min ' and ' ma.' 

It is found also in those languages in which 'man ' constitutes the 
isolated pronoun, that ' m ' is used as its equivalent in the personal ter- 
minations of the verbs, and generally in all inflexional compounds. We 
see this usage illustrated in the colloquial languages of Northern India 
and in the Persian. For example, whilst ' man ' is the nominative of 
the Persian pronoun, the basis of the oblique cases is not ' man ' but 
'ma' (e.g., ' raa-ra,' me, of me) ; and the pronominal ending of the 
verb in the first person singular is 'm.' In a similar manner, in the 
Turkish family of languages, ' m ' is used in composition as the equi- 
valent of 'man' or 'men.' Thus, in Oriental Turkish, whilst 'men' 
is retained in the present tense ; e.g., ' b61a-men,' Z am ; the preterite 
is contented with 'm' alone; e.g^, 'h6\d.i-ra,' Jwas. 

The same suffix is used to denote the first person singular in the 


possessive compounds of the Turkish, a class of words which is peculiar 
to the Scythian family ; e.g., ' baba-m,' my father, from ' baba,' fatlier, 
and 'm,' the representative of the first person singular. In the Magyar 
also, though the isolated pronoun of the first person singular is ' en,' yet 
* m ' is used instead of ' n' in the possessive compounds and determinate 
inflexional terminations : e.g., from ' atya,' father, is formed the pos- 
sessive compound 'atya-m,' my father; and the first person singular of 
definite or determinate verbs ends in 'm;' e.g., 'szeretem,' / love (some 
one). It is also to be noticed, that whilst the Magyar has ' en ' as the 
the singular of the isolated pronoun, its plural is ' mi ' or ' mink ;' 
the former of which is evidently pluralised from 'ma' or ' me,' the latter 
from ' min.' 

It was shown that the initial and radical 'm' of the Indo-European 
pronoun was occasionally converted in ' n :' we have now to show that 
a sirnilar change from ' m ' to ' n ' is apparent in the Scythian lan- 
guages also, and that xa some of those languages ' n ' has become a,s 
distinctive of the first person as in the Dravidian family itself. 

In Finnish, though the isolated form of this pronoun is .'ma' or 
' mina,' yet in all inflexional additions and compounds ' m ' is repre- 
sen,ted by ' n ;' e.g., from ' isi,' father, is formed 'isa-ni,' my father, and. 
from '61,' to be, is formed '61-en,' / am. 

This final ' n ' is not derived from the euphonic ' n ' of ' mina ;' but 
from a direct conversion of ' m ' into ' n ;' for though we see the same 
euphonic addition of ' n ' in * sina ' (from ' se ' or ' sia '), thou, yet we 
have 't' alone (the equivalent of 's') in '61-et,' thou art. 'n' has, 
therefore, become in Finnish, as in Eravidian, the ordinary sign of the 
first person singular of the verb, by conversion from an older 'm.' 

. The Magyar ' 6n,' /, appears to be still more nearly allied to the 
Dravidian pronoun ; and in this case ' n ' is certainly derived from 
' m,' for whilst ' n ' is found in the nominative, ' m ' is used instead 
in all possessive compounds and verbal inflexions. With the Magyar 
nominative ' en,' compare not only the Tamil-Canarese 'en' or 'en,' 
but also ' an ' or ' awn,' /, in the Lar, a Sindhian dialect. A similar 
form of this pronoun is found in the Mordwin, another idiom of the 
Finnish or Ugrian family, in which, whilst 'mon' is the isolated uomi.' 
native, ' an ' is used instead in verbal inflexions ;' e.g., ' paz-an,' I [am) 
the Lord. 

In the Olet or Calmuck dialect of the Mongolian tongue, there are 
distinct traces of the same change of 'ma' into 'na.' 

The nominative of this pronoun in Calmuck is 'hi' (from 'mi'), 
and the same base appears in the genitive ' mini :' but the rest of the 
oblique cases are formed not from ' bi ' or ' mi,' but from ' na ;' e.g., 



' na-da,' to me, ' na-da^edze,' from me, and also 'na-mai',' me. We Ler? 
discover the existence of a pronominal base in 'na' (probably derived 
from 'ma'), which is in perfect agreement with the Dr&vidian. 

In a few of the Scythian languages the isolated pronoun, including 
its nominative, seems to be absolutely identical with that of the Dra- 
vidian family ; e.g., ' na ' in the Quasi Qumuk, a Caucasian dialect, 
and ' ne ' in Motor, a dialect of the SamoTede. Compare also the 
East-Asian forms ; e.g., Avan, ' na " or ' nga ;' Tetenge, an Assam 
dialect, ' ne ;' Corean, ' nai ;' Tibetan, ' nga ;' Chinese, ' ngo.' I 
doubt not that the 'nga,' /, and 'nge,' we, of the Tibetan, are identical 
with the 'ma ' and ' me' of the other languages of High Asia ; and , 
as ' nga ' is plainly identical with ' na,' as well as with ' ma,' the sup- 
position that the Dravidian 'na' is derived from the Indo-European 
and Scythian 'ma' is confirmed. We may here also compare 
the Australian pronouns of the first person, viz., 'nga,' 'nganya,'// 
its dual 'ngalee,' we two; and the plurals 'ngadlu' and ' nadju,* 

On the whole we appear to have reason to conclude that the 
various forms of the pronoun of the first person singular which have 
now been compared, 'ma,' 'nga,' and 'na,' are identical j and that this 
word was the common property of mankind prior to the separation of 
the Indo-European tribes from the rest of the Japhetic family. 

2. Pronoun of the Second Person Singular. 

Comparison of dialects. — In Canarese the nominative of this 
pronoun is ' nin ' or ' nin-u ;' and in the oblique cases the included 
vowel of ' nin ' is shortened by rule ; e.g., ' ninna,' thy. The plural 
differs from the singular only in the use of ' m ' as a final, instead of 
' n :' it may therefore be concluded that those finals are marks or for^ 
matives of number, not of personality; a conclusion which is converted 
into a certainty by the circumstance which has already been pointed 
out that in the pronoun of the first person also the final ' n ' of the 
singular is converted in the plural into ' m.' 

In Canarese not only are ' na ' and ' ni ' regarded as the crude 
bases of the pronouns of the first and second persons, but they are 
occasionally used also as nominatives of verbs instead of ' nan ' and 
' nin.' 

In the personal terminations of the verb, this pronoun is much 
changed in all the Dravidian dialects. It not only loses its initial 'n,' 
like the pronoun of the first person ; but its final ' n' also disappears. 
Generally nothing remains in the verbal inflexions but the included, 
vowel, and that also is more or less modified by use. In the Cana- 


rese verb it appears as ' i,' ' i,' ' lye,' and ' e :' in the ancient dialect 
of the Canarese it is ' ay,' as in Tamil. 

In Tamil ' ni, ' which is properly the crude base, is invariably 
used as the isolated nominative, instead of 'nin' — the form which 
would correspond by rule to ' nan,' the nominative of the first person 
singular. That 'nin' originally constituted the nominative even in 
Tamil, appears from this that the oblique cases in the higher dialect 
agree in using ' nin ' (shortened by rule from ' uin ') as the base to 
which the case-suffixes are attached. Another form which is occa- 
sionally used by the poets is 'niy,' in which the final 'n ' is softened 
to 'y' — in the same manner as the initial 'n' of 'nan.' The final 
' n ' of this pronoun, though totally lost in the nominative, is invari- 
ably retained in the oblique cases; in which it is the initial 'n' that 
becomes liable to alteration. In the colloquial obliques the initial ' n' 
entirely disappears, and does not leave even a ' y ' behind it, as the 
initial ' n ' of the first personal pronoun generally does. When the 
initial is discarded, the included vowel changes from ' i ' to ' u.' ' u,'' 
however, constitutes the iucluded vowel of this pronoun, not only when 
the initial ' n ' is lost, but sometimes, in the higher dialect, ieven when 
it is retained, 'nin,' nun,' and 'un' are severally used as the basis 
of the oblique cases. In the personal terminations of the Tamil verb, 
this pronoun is represented by the suffixes 'ay,' 'ei,' or 'i:' from 
each of which suffixes the final 'n,' as well as the initial, has disap- 
peared. In the poetical dialect of the language the initial ' n ' at 
first sight appears to have retained its place in such forms as ' nadan- 
danei,' thou didst walk, and in the corresponding plural, ' nadandanir,' 
ye walked:' but the 'n' of these pronominal terminations ('nei' and 
' nir ') is merely euphonic, and is inserted for the purpose of keeping 
separate the contiguous vowels of ' nadanda-ei ' and ' nadandanir. Iii 
the same manner, in the first person, ' nadandanen, / walked, is used 
poetically for ' nadanda-en ; ' and when its vowels are allowed to 
coalesce, instead of being kept separate, they become ' nadanden,' 
which is the more ordinary form. 

The root of the verb is regularly used in Tamil as the second 
person singular of the imperative, without any pronominal suffix, and 
even without any euphonic addition: but the second person plural of 
the imperative in the colloquial dialect is formed by the addition of 
■• um ' (the ordinary plural base of the oblique cases) ; which ' um ' is 
derived from a singular form in ' un,' one of the bases of the oblique 
cases already referred to. In the higher dialect 'ky' and ' ir,' the 
ordinary representatives of these pronouns in the verbal inflexions, are 
oftfen added to the root to form the singular and plural imperative ; 

x 2 


e.g., ' kelay,' hear thou, ' k^lir,' hear ye. [These forms are apparently 
identical with 'kel4y,' thou hearest not, and ' kelir,' ye hear not: hut 
they are not really identical, as Beschi supposed, for it will he shown 
in the Section on the ' Negative Verb ' that ' a,' a relic of ' al,' not, 
is an element in all negative forms ; though in these and in some other 
instances it has been absorbed in the succeeding long vowel.] 

With respect to the consonantal elements of the pronoun of the 
second person, there is little room to doubt that they consisted in an 
initial and final 'n,' the former essential, the latter formative : but there 
seems to be some doubt with respect to the included vowel. Authority 
preponderates in favour of 'i;' 'u' ranks next, and 'a' next to 
that ; but ' ei ' and ' e * are also found. Sometimes in Tamil, ' i ' is 
converted in pronunciation into a sound resembling 'u;' whilst the 
converse never takes place. It may therefore perhaps be concluded 
that ' i ' constituted the included vowel of the original base of this 

Beschi, in his grammar of the High Tamil, represents 'di' as being 
used occasionally by the Tamil poets as a suffix of the second person 
singular of the imperative; and if this representation were correct, it 
would be necessary to regard ' di ' as a pronoun, or as the fragment 
of a pronoun, of the second person singular. It is founded, however, 
on a mistake : for the word which Beschi cites in proof (' adi,' become 
thou, from ' agu,' abbreviated into ' a,' to become ') is not really an 
imperative, but is the second person singular of the preterite ; and ' di ' 
is compounded of ' d,' the sign of the preterite tense, and ' i,' the 
usual fragment of ' ni,' thou. ' Adi ' means properly thou hast become, 
and it is used as an imperative by the poets alone to convey an 
emphatic prediction of a result which is regarded as already certain. 
We find the same suffix in such poetical preterites as •■ varu-di ' (for 
' vanday ') thou earnest, and ' kedu-di '' (for ' kettay ') thou art ruined. . 

In Malayalam the nominative of this pronoun is 'nj/ but ' nin ' 
is used, as in classical Tamil, in the oblique cases. The dative has 
'nan,' instead of nin; e.g., ' nanikka,' to thee — as if from a nomi- 
native in 'nan,' with 'a' as the included vowel. This use of 'a' 
is in accordance with the colloquial Tamil personal termination of 
the verb, which is ' ay,' instead of ' iy.' 

In Tulu the nominative is 'i;' but the oblique cases are formeid 
upon the base of ' ni ' or ' nin.' In the personal terminations of the 
verb the second person singular is represented by ' a.' The Tulu 
nominative 'j' illustrates the fact already stated that each of the 
nasals of 'nin' (both the radical initial and the formative final) has 
sometimes been worn oflF. 


The Tuda has ' ni ' as its nominative, ' nin ' as the hase of its 
oblique cases, and ' i ' as the personal termination of the verb. 

The Telugu nominative is 'nivu,' expanded from 'ni' by the 
addition of the euphonic particle 'vu:' 'nivu,' Tel., thou, is identical 
m form, though not in meaning, with the modern Canarese plural of 
the same pronoun, viz., 'nivu,' you. In the oblique cases the Telugu 
rejects the euphonic addition of ' vu,' and uses ' ni ' as its inflexional 
base, and also as its possessive. The objective alone follows the 
example of the other dialects in abbreviating the included vowel, and 
appending a final nasal. That case is ' ni-nu,' ' nin-u,' or 'nin-nu,' 
and is evidently formed from a nominative ' nin-u.' In the higher 
dialect of the Telugu, ' ivu,' from an old nominative ' i,' which is iden- 
tical with the Tulu, is occasionally used instead of ' nivu.' 

The Telugu plural of this pronoun has 'miru' as the nominative, 
'mi' as the inflexion, and 'mimu' as the accusative. Both 'mini' 
and 'mimu' indicate a base in 'mi' from which they have been 
formed by the addition of signs of plurality; and 'mi' bears the same 
relation to the ' ni ' of the other dialects that ' ma,' the Telugu plural 
of the first person, does to the ordinary Dravidian ' na.' How this 
change from '^n ' to ' m ' has taken place will be inquired into under 
the head of ' The Plurals.' 

In the personal terminations of the verb, the Telugu rejects every 
portion of the pronominal root, and employs only the euphonic addi- 
tion ' vu ' or ' vi.' 

In Gond the nominative is 'ima;' but 'ni' is used in the oblique 
cases, ' n ' or ' i ' in the personal terminations of the verbs. 

The Ku corresponds on the whole to the Telugu. Its nominative 
is 'inn;' its inflexion 'ni;' the personal termination of its verb 'i.' 

The Rajmahal nominative is 'nin;' the Uraon, ' nien.' 

The Brahui nominative is ' ni,' as in most of the Dravidian 
languages; and its nominative plural is 'num' — a form which is much 
used in the higher dialect of the Tamil. ' 

On a comparison of the various Dravidian dialects we arrive at the 
conclusion that the primitive form of this pronoun -was 'ni,' 'nu,' or 
'na;' — most probably the first. The only essential part of the pronoun 
appears to be the initial consonant 'n;' just as in the Indo-European 
languages ' t' is the only essential part of the corresponding pronoun. 
In each family the vowel by the help of which the initial consonant is 
enunciated varies considerably, but evinces, on the whole, a preference 
for ' i ' in the Dravidian languages, for ' u ' in the Indo-European. 

Supposing "-ni' to be the primitive form of the Dravidian pronoun 
of the second person, and comparing it with ' na,' which we have seen 


to be the primitive form of the Dravidian pronoun of the first person, 
it is deserving of notice that the only difference between the two is the 
difference between the two included vowels, ' a ' and ' i.' The conso- 
nant ' n ' seems to be tbe common property and the common sign of 
both pronouns, and the means by which their personality is expressed; 
whilst the annexed ' a ' restricts the signification to the first person, 
or that of the speaker; ' i,' to the second person, or that of the person 
addressed. The only resemblance to this arrangement with which I 
am acquainted is that which is found in the personal pronouns of the 
Hebrew, in which / is ' an-dki ;' thou, ' an-ta ' (corrupted into ' at-ta'). 
The, method adopted by the Dravidian languages of expressing the 
difference between the first person and the second by means of the 
vowels ' a ' and ' i,' used as auxiliaries, does not appear to be the 
result of accident. It is probably founded on some ultimate principle; 
though it may be difiicult or impossible now to discover what that 
principle is. 

If ' a ' and ' i ' be considered as identical with the demonstratives, 
an idea which would suit the signification, and which is corroborated by 
the circumstance that ' u ' is also a demonstrative, we are met by the 
apparently insurmountable difficulty that in all the Dravidian tongues, 
and (as far as the use of these demonstrative vowels extends) in all 
the tongues of the Indo-European family, ' a ' is not the proximate, 
but the remote, demonstrative; and 'i' is not the remote, but the 
proximate ; whilst ' u ' is used in Tamil as an intermediate between 
those two. 

Is any weight to be attributed to the circumstance that ' a ' 
has naturally the first place in all lists of vowels, and ' i ' the 
second 1 

Uxtra-Drdi)idian relationship. — It has been shown that the Dravi- 
dian pronoun of the first person has affinities with each of the great 
Japhetic groups, with some special Scythian affinities. It will be 
found that the relationship of the pronoun of the second person is less 
extensive, but more distinctive : it is specifically Scythian. 

Throughout the Scythian as well as the Indo-European group, the 
most prevalent form of the pronoun of the second person singular is that 
which is formed from the consonant ' t ' {e.ff., ' tu '), or its euphonised 
equivalent 's' {e.ff., ' av'); and the only other form which is found to 
be used in any family of either of those groups is that which is formed 
from the consonant ' n,' and of which the Cuneiform-Scythian and the 
Dravidian ' ni ' is the best representative. 

These roots appear to have been always perfectly independent. I 


cannot discover any reliable trace of a connexion between them, or 
of a gradual change in any instance of the one form into the other. 

In order to place this point in a clear light, it is desirable, in the 
first place, to trace out the connexions and alliances of the pronominal 
root 'tu.' 

It has been conjectured that this pronoun had its origin in the 
demonstrative base 'tj' but the investigation of this point is beyond 
our purpose^ which is merely that of tracing its relationship. 

In Sanscrit the pronoun of the second pierson- singular is 'tva-m;' 
in Zend 'tu-m, and also 'thw" as included in the accusative 'thwa,' 
iltee. Connected with the Sanscrit ' tva,' there is a simplter form, ' ta,' 
which is apparent in ' tava,' thy; and we have analogies to this in 
the Kawi ' ta ' and the Semitic ' ta ' (included in ' anta,' thou '). The 
Semitic ' ta ' is changed in the inflexions to ' 'kk' a change which 
resembles that of the Kawi, which has ' ta ' as its nominative and 
'ko' as its possessive: Bopp supposes that 'yu,' the base of the most 
common form of the plural of this pronoun, is derived from ' tu,' and 
that ' va,' the base of the Sanscrit secondary plural ' vas ' and of the 
Latin ' vos,' is derived from 'tva.' 'v,' however, is more frequently 
derived from ' m ' than from any other letter. ' tva-m ' becomes 
' tuva-m ' in the Old Persian ; and from ' tu ' (itself derived from 
' tv ') proceeds the Sanscrit dative ' tu-bhayam :' the base of which is 
allied to, or identical with, the Latin, Armenian, and Pehlvi ' tu;' the 
^olic and Doric 'tv;' the Persian, Afghan, and Singhalese 'to;' and 
the Gothic ' thu.' The ' th ' of the Gothic and Zend points out the 
path by which the Old Greek ' tv ' was converted into ' av.' 

In the personal terminations of the verbs, in Sanscrit and most 
other languages of the same family, the earlier ' t ' of this pronoun 
has very generally been weakened into ' s' in the singular, whilst in 
most of the plural terminations, ' t,' with some trivial modifications, 
and with a sign of plurality annexed, has succeeded in retaining its 
place. In our investigation of the pronoun of the first person it was 
found that ' ma ' was converted, in the personal terminations of the 
verb into 'mi,' and 'mi' still further weakened into 'm:' so also 
' su ' (for ' tu ') generally becomes ' si ' in the verbal terminations ; 
and ' si ' in like manner afterwards becomes ' s.' 

In the Scythian group of tongues, the pronoun of the second person 
which is in general use is substantially the same as in the Indo- 
European — another evidence of the primeval identity of both groups : 
but in the Scythian tongues the weaker ' s ' has obtained wider preva- 
lence than the older ' t;' and the vowel by which ' s' is enunciated is 
more frequently 'i' or 'e,' than ' u' or 'a.' 


The Magyar has 'te' in the singular, 'ti' or 'tik' in the pluralt 
with which we may compare the Armenian 'tu,' thou, and ' tuk,' you. 

The Mongolian ' tchi ' or ' dzi,' th(m, exhibits the progress of ' ti ' 
towards softening into ' si.' In Finnish proper, the isolated pronoun 
of the second person singular, is ' se ' or 'sina;' but 't' retains its 
place in the plural; and the personal termination of the verb even in 
the singular is ' t.'' 

The chief peculiarity apparent in the Scythian form of this pro- 
noun is, that it has generally been euphonised by the addition of a 
final nasal — the consonant ' n,' precisely in the same manner as the 
pronoun of the first person singular. 

In the older Greek ' tuvt) ' and ' tojJv,' correspond to ' er^ivvr/ ' and 
'er/iiv;' and in like manner, in the languages which belong to the 
Scythian family, or which have been subject to Scythian influences, 
where the pronoun of the first person is found to be nasalised, the 
pronoun of the second person generally exhibits the same feature. 

In the vernaculars of Northern India, we see this euphonic addition 
to the pronoun of the second person in the Hindi, Panjabi, and Sindhi, 
' tun,' and in the Marathi and Gujarathi ' turn.' In some of those 
idioms, especially in the Gujarathi and Panjabi, the euphonic nasal 
appears in the oblique cases as well as in the nominative, but more 
commonly it is found in the nominative alone. 

In the Turkish family of tongues, ' sin ' or ' sen ' is the usual form 
of the pronoun of the second person singular. The ' n ' retains its 
place in the oblique cases, but is lost in ' siz ' the plural. Compare 
also the Georgian ' shen ;' the Samoi'ede ' tan,' ' tani ;' the Lappish 
'don;' the Votiak and Mordwin 'ton' (plural 'tin'); and the Finnish 
' sina,' which alternates with ' se,' ' sia,' and 'sie.' 

The euphonic origin of this ' n ' is most evident in the Esthonian 
dialect of the Finnish, which uses indifferently ' sa ' or ' sinna ' for the 
second person, and ' ma ' or ' minna ' for the first. 

In the Mongolian and Manchu, ' n ' appears in the oblique cases 
only. In Mongol the nominative is ' tchi,' in Manchu ' si ;' but the 
genitive in the former is ' tchini,' in the latter ' sini,' and the corres- 
ponding datives are ' tehim-dou ' and ' sin-de.' 

In Calmuck the nominative is 'dzi' or 'dzima,' genitive 'dzini/ 
dative ' dzimadou,' accusative ' dziraai.' In the pronouns of this 
language we may observe several instances of ' m ' being used as an 
euphonic, instead of ' n.' 

It is evident that there is no resemblauce whatever between any of 
the pronouns compared above and the Dravidian 'ni.' The final 'na' 
of the Finnish ' sina,' and its equivalent, the final ' vr/' of the Greek 


' rvvr),' are separable, euphonic, inorganic additions, and can have no 
real connexion with ' ni,' which is an ultimate root. 

We have seen that the Indo-European and Scythian ' m ' — the 
initial of the pronoun of the first person — was probably the origin of 
the ' n ' of the Drividian ' na.' Is it possible that the radical ' t ' of 
the pronoun of the second person in both those families of tongues was 
changed in like manner into 'n,' — so as that 'tu' or 'ti' was the origin 
of the Dravidian 'ni?' I think not. This is supposed, indeed, by 
Castren, a very high authority, to be the history of the ' n ' by which 
the second person singular is often represented in the personal affixes of 
the Finnish and Turkish families.. It may also be mentioned here, that a 
change of 't' into 'n' is not quite unknown even in the Indo-European 
languages. It is somewhat frequently found to take place in Pali; e.ff., 
' te,' thei/, masculine, becomes optionally 'n§;' 'ta,' thfiT/, feminine 
becomes 'na;' and 'tani,' thei/, neuter, becomes 'nani.' In Sanscrit 
also ' etam,' him, is sometimes changed into ' enam.' There is no 
evidence, however, that the 'n' now under consideration — the initial 
of the Dravidian ' ni ' — arose from any such process of change ; the 
supposition would be wholly a gratuitous one; and the discovery of 
'ui' in languages of such high antiquity as the Cuneiform-Scythian of 
the Behistun Inscriptions and the Chinese, shows that ' m ' claims to 
be regarded as independent of ' tva,' or ' tu,' and as an ultimate pro- 
nominal root. It thus appears that there are probably two Japhetic 
bases of the second personal pronoun, as well as two of the first. 

There are traces, more or less distinct, in various languages of the 
Scythian group, of the existence of a pronoun of the second person 
identical with, or evidently allied to, the Dravidian ' ni.' 

I begin with the most remarkable and decisive analogy, because 
the most ancient which is capable of direct proof, viz., the second per- 
sonal pronoun in the Scythian tablets at Behistun. This is 'ni,' 
precisely as in the Dravidian idioms ; and the possessive which is used 
in compounds is 'ni,' which is identical with the similarly abbreviated 
basis of the Dravidian oblique cases of this pronoun. The plural of 
this pronoun is, unfortunately, unknown. The personal termination 
of the verb is not * ni,' but ' nti ;' which I suspect to be a compound of 
' ni ' and 'ti,' like the ' anta,' 'anti,' of the Semitic languages. 

The antiquity*and distinctively Scythian character of the Dravidian 
pronoun of the second person is thus clearly proved; and this proof of 
its antiquity entitles us to regard as allied to the Drfividian 'ni' certain 
resemblances to it which otherwise might be thought to be accidental. 

In the Ostiak, the most Dravidian of the Finnish dialects, in that 
compound of nouns with possessive suffixes which is so characteristic 


of the Scythian group, the first personal pronoun is represented by 
' m;' the second, as in the Dravidian languages, by 'n ;' e.g., ' ime-m,' my 
vdfe, 'ime-n,' thy wife. In the Syrianian, another Finnish idiom, the 
second person of the verb, both singular and plural, is formed by annex- 
ing a pronoun of which 'n' is the initial and radical; e.g., 'kery-n,' thou 
hast done (from ' kery,' to do), ' kery(n)nyd,' you have done. In ' nyd,' 
you, we see indication of a singular 'ny,' thou, which has been plu- 
ralised, as is usual in these langiiages, by suflSxing to it ' d ' or 't.' 

In addition to the allied forms discoverable in these compounds, we 
find in the Ugrian tongues several instances in which the isolated 
pronoun of the second person which is used as a nominative is plainly 
allied to the Dravidian. In the Ugro-Ostiak, or that dialect of the 
Ostiak which is treated of in Castren's grammar, thou is ' nen ;' you 
two, 'nin;' you (indefinitely plural) 'nen.' Here 'ne' or ' ni ' con- 
stitutes the pronominal base ; and the final ' n ' of the singular ' nen,' 
is a formative or euphonic addition like that which has converted the 
Dravidian ' ni ' into . ' nin.' The strong pronunciation of this Ostiak 
final ' n ' reappears, as we shall see, in the Turkish. In other Ostiak 
dialects we find 'num ' and 'ma,' and also (which is more desersnng of 
notice) ' nyn,' with a plural ' nynt.' In the Vogoul we find analogies 
which are no less remarkable than the above ; e.g., ' nei,' ' ny,' ' nan,' 
' nyngi,' and ' nank.' Compare also the Vogoul plurals ' nen ' and 
' non.' 

In the Finnish proper, the only trace of this pronoun which we 
observe is one which, but for the existence of such express analogies in 
other members of the family, we should probably have overlooked. 
In the plural of the second person of the Finnish verb {e.g., 'olette,' ye 
are, pluralised from ' olet,' thou art), the suflBxed pronoun corresponds 
to that of which ' t ' or ' s ' is the initial ; but in the possessive com- 
pounds, in which we should expect to find precisely the same form, we 
find instead of it a plural possessive) of which the initial and radical is 
*n.' Thus, the expression thy hand, being 'kates,' we should expect to 
find your hand, 'katesse,' or, more primitively, 'katette,' like the 
corresponding Magyar ' kezetek,' (from 'tek,' you, another form of 
' te ') ; whereas the form actually used in Finnish is ' katenne.' It 
thus appears that two pronouns of the second person retain their place 
in the Finnish; one, the singular of which is 'si,' or more properly 'ti,' 
the plural ' te ;' and another, hidden in the ancient compounds, the 
plural of which is 'ne,' and of which, by dialectic rules, the singular 
must have been ' ni.' 

Even in the Turkish, we shall find traces of the existence of a 
similar pronoun. In the possessive compounds, the second person 


singular is not represented, as we should have expected it to be, by 
' sen,' as the first person singular is by ' m ;' but ' « ' or ' ng ' is used 
instead (a nasal which corresponds to that of the Ostiak ' nen ') ; 
e.g., 'baba-re,' thy father ; and as the final ' m ' of 'baba-m' is derived 
from 'mi' or 'me,' /, we seem to be obliged to deduce also the final 
'w' of baba-TO,' from an obsolete 'wi' or 'we,' ihow, which is allied to 
the corresponding forms that have been pointed out in other Scythian 
tongues. We find this possessive 'w' or 'ng' not only in the Osmanli 
Turkish, but even in the Yakute, the Turkish of Siberia. 

The same ' n ' makes its appearance in the personal terminations 
of the Turkish verb. ' sen ' is more commonly used than ' n ;' but 
'n' is found as the representative of the second person in those verbal 
forms which must be considered as of greatest antiqnity ; e.g., in the 
preterite of the auxiliary substantive verbs, 'idum,' I was, 'iduw,' thou 
wast, ' idi,' he was. In the Oriental Turkish the forms corresponding 
to these are ' boldJm,' ' bdldum,' ' boldi ;' and the same termination of 
the second person singular — the nasal 'n' — appears in all the preterites 
of that language. We may compare also the plural forms of this pro- 
nominal suflBx. The Turkish pronouns are pluralised by changing the 
final formative ' n ' into ' z,' or rather by adding ' z ' to the crude 
base. Thus, we is ' biz ' (for * miz '), and you is ' siz.' In possessive 
compounds 'i' changes into 'u;' and hence our father is 'baba-muz.' 
In the same manner, your father is 'baba-wuz,' indicating a suppositious, 
isolated pronoun, ' miz,' you, corresponding to ' miz,' we. Whilst ' u ' 
is used instead of ' i ' in Osmanli Turkish, the older and more regular 
' i ' retains its place in the Oriental Turkish ; e.g., ' uzu-wiz,' you your- 
selves ; in which you is ' »iiz ' or ' ngiz,' and from which, when ' z,' the 
sign of plurality, is rejected, we deduce the singular '«i' or 'ngi.' 
The same mode of forming the plural termination of the second person 
appears in all regular Turkish verbs j e.g., compare 'k6rkdu-wuz,' ye 
feared, with 'korkdu'W,' thou fearedst. We see it also in the imperative 
'korkn-wuz,' /ear ye. In all these instances, I consider the Turkish 'w' 
or 'ng' to be dialectically equivalent to the Finnish 'n;' and the 
pronominal root which is thus found to underlie so many Turkish and 
Ugrian compounds of the second person may, I think, be regarded as 
identical with the Dravidian and Behistun-Scythian pronoun. Even 
the libration between ' i ' and ' n,' which we noticed in considering 
the Dravidian forms- of this pronoun, meets us again in the Turkish, 

In the Himalayan dialects, though Tibetan or Indo - Chinese 
influences generally seem to preponderate over Dravidian, we cannot 
fail to see Dravidian analogies in the Dhimal ' na,' in the Miri ' no,' 
in the Garo ' naa ;' and in the ' n ' which forms the first and most 


essential radical of the pronoun of the second person in all the rest of 
the Lohitic dialects. 

Still more remarkable is the Chinese 'ni,' which is absolutely 
identical both with the Dravidian and with the Behistun-Scythian 
pronoun: so also is the 'ni' of t'he Horpa, a dialect of Tibetan 
nomades. Compare also the pronouns of the second person in various 
Australian dialects : e.g., ' ninna,' ' nginnee/ ' nginte ;' the duals 
' niwa,' 'nura;' and the plural ' nimedoo.' 

On a comparison of the various forms of this pronoun which have 
been adduced above, it must be evident that the affinities of the Dravi- 
dian ' ni ' are wholly Scythian ; and this important circumstance, 
taken in conjunction with the predominance of Scythian influences over 
Indo-European iu the formation of the first personal pronoun, con- 
tributes largely to the establishment of the Scythian relationship of 
the Dravidian family. 

3. The Reflexive Pronoun 'Self.' 

The Dravidian pronouns of the third person are, properly speaking, 
demonstratives, not personal pronouns ; and they will, therefore, be 
investigated under a subsequent and separate head. The pronoun, 
which is now under consideration is entitled to a place amongst per- 
sonal pronouns, because it possesses all their characteristics, and is 
declined precisely in the same manner. It corresponds iu meaning to 
the Sanscrit ' svayam,' and to the defective Greek ' e ' and the Latin 
' sui,' ' sibi,' ' se ;' with a range of application which is more extensive 
than theirs. 

In Tamil the nominative singular of this pronoun is 'tan;' the 
plural of which (by the usual pronominal change of ' n' into 'm') is 
' tam :' and the inflexion, or basis of the oblique cases (which, taken by 
itself, has the force of a possessive), is formed, as in the case of the 
other personal pronouns, by simply shortening the included vowel ; 
e.g., 'tan,' of self , '■sui,' or (adjectivally) ' suus,' 'sua,'' 'suum.' In 
all its cases and connexions ' tan ' is found to be more regular and 
persistent than any other pronoun. 

The Canarese nominative is ' tan ' in the ancient, ' tan-u ' in the 
modern dialect : the inflexion is formed, as usual, by the shortening of 
the included vowel; and the crude root 'ta' (without the formative 
'n') is sometimes used instead of 'tan-u,' just as 'na,' of the first 
person, and 'ni,' of the second, are occasionally used instead of 
' nan-u ' and ' nin-u.' 

In Telugu the reflexive pronoun is more regularly declined, and is 
more in accordance with the Tamil-Canarese, than any other pronoun 


of the personal class. The nominative is ' tan-u ;' the inflexion and 
possessive ' tSn-a ;' the plural nominative 'tam-u' or 'tar-u :' ' ta' may 
be used at pleasure, as in Canarese, for ' tan-u.' 

A similar regularity of formation and of declension is apparent in all 
the Dravidian dialects, so that further comparison of the forms of this 
pronoun seems to be unnecessary. The root or base is evidently ' ta,' 
self. The final ' n ' of the singular, though probably only a formative 
addition (like the final 'n' of ' na-n,' /, and ' ni-n,' thnu), is one of 
great antiquity, for we find it even in the Brahui : eg., the nominative 
singular is ' tenat' (compare with this the inorganic ' t,' which is suf- 
fixed to the personal pronouns in Gond) ; gen, 'tena;' dat. 'tene.' 

'tan,' self (\x\e 'nan,' /, and 'nin,' thou), is of no gender, and is 
used in connexion with each personal gender indiscriminately; so that 
this final 'n' has evidently a different origin from the 'n' or 'an,' 
which constitutes the sign of the masculine of rationals. The ' n ' of 
the singular of the personal pronouns has nothing to do with gender, 
and is a sign of the singular number alone. 

The use of this pronoun agrees with the use of the corresponding 
Indo-European reflexive. It always agrees with the principal nomina- 
tive of the sentence, and with the governing verb, or that which is in 
agreement with the principal nominative. It is also used as an 
emphatic addition to each of the personal and demonstrative pronouns, 
like the Latin ' ipse,' or like the English self, in the compounds myself, 
yourself, &c. : e.g., we say in Tamil ' nan-tan,' / myself ; ' ni-tan,' thou 
thyself; 'avan-tan,' he himself; 'aval-tan,' she herself ; ' adu-tan,' 
itself 01 that itself : and 'tam,' the plural of 'tan' (or, in the colloquial 
dialect, its double plural 'tang-gal'), is in like manner appended to the 
plurals of each of those pronouns and demonstratives. 

' tan' acquires also an adverbial signification by the addition of the 
usual adverbial formatives ; e.g., ' tanay' (for ' tan-agi'), Tam., of my- 
self, of yourself or spontaneously : and when appended to nouns of 
quality or relation its use corresponds to that of our adverbs really, 
quite, &c. ; e.g., 'raey tan,' Tam., it is really true, 'sari tan,' quite 

One use to which the reflexive is put is peculiar to these languages, 
— viz., as an honorific substitute for the pronoun of the second person; 
and in this connexion either the singular, the plural, or the double 
plural may be used, according to the amount of respect intended to be 
shown. When used in this maimer, it is not annexed to, or com- 
pounded with, the pronoun of the second person, but is used alone : 
and though, when it stands alone, it generally and naturally denotes 
the third person, yet when thus used honorifically for the second person. 


the verb with which it is connected receives the pronominal termina- 
tions not of the third person but of the second. This use of ' tan,' as 
an honorific pronoun of the second person, illustrates the possibility, if 
not the probability, of the origin of the Indo-European pronoun ' tu,' 
thou, from a demonstrative base. 

A very interesting class of Tamil words, the nature of which has 
generally been overlooked, has originated from the honorific use of the 
reflexive pronoun. Its injlenAon, or possessive, has been prefixed hono- 
rifically to most of the pure Drividian words which denote parents and 
other near relations, in a manner which somewhat resembles ourmodern 
periphrasis Her Majesty, your worship, &o. In general the plural 
' tam ' has been used in this connexion instead of the singular ' tan,' 
as a prefix of greater honour, but in some instances these compound 
words have become so corrupted that their constituent elements can 
scarcely be recognized. The Tamil 'tagappan,'/a<Aer, is formed from 
' tam-appan,' their (honorifically his) father, meaning, as it were, his 
paternity. ' tammei,' mother, is from ' tam -ayi,' her maternity ; and 
' tay,' mother, the more common word, is in like manner from ' ta-ayi,' 
in which we find the crude ' ta ' for ' tam.' ' tamayan,' elid,er brother 
(Tel., 'tammudu'), is from 'tam' and ' ayan ' or ' eiyan,' an in- 
structor, meaning his tutorship. ' tang-gei,' younger sister, is from 
' tam,' and ' kei,' a handmaid (literally a hand), meaning her hand- 
maidenship.* 'tambi' (Tel., 'tammu'), yoww^er JroiAer, and 'tandei' 
('Tel., 'tandri'), father, evidently include the same honorific prefix 
'tam' or 'tan;' but the nouns which form the basis of these words 
are so changed that they cannot now be recognized. 'tambiran,' a 
title of God, which is commonly applied to a particular class of 
Hindu abbots is formed from the same 'tam' and 'piran' (pro- 
bably from 'pra,' Sans., before, first). Lord or God, meaning his lord- 
i/iip,! literally his-godsMp : and this is perhaps the only word of this 
class the derivation of which has commonly been admitted by lexico- 

Another remarkable use of the reflexive pronoun is the adoption of 
its possessive, or inflexional base, ' tan,' of self or self's, as the base of 
the abstract noun ' tan-mei ' or ' tanam,' quality or nature, literally 
selfness ; 'mei' is the regular formative of Tamil abstracts, like our 
English ness, or the Latin ' tas.' This word is identical in meaning 
with the Sanscrit ' tatvam,' nature, property, which is derived from 

* Compare with thia meaning of ' a younger sister,' the name of ' spinster ' 
which is applied by ourselves to unmarried females; and also the derivation 
which is attributed to 'duhtri' ('duhitar'), Sans., daughter, viz., u, milk-maid 
(or as Bopp regards it, a auchlinff), from ' duh,' to milk. 


' tad ' or ' tat,' that, and is possibly allied to it (though indirectly) in 

'ta/ the base of the Dravidian reflexive pronoun, has no connexion 
with, or resemblance to, any other pronoun of this family of languages; 
though it is unquestionably a pure Dravidian root. If we look at its 
meaning and range of application it must, I think, have originated 
from some emphatic demonstrative base ; and it will be found that 
there is no lack either in the Indo-European or in the Scythian family 
of demonstratives closely resembling ' ta ' or ' ta-n.' We see examples 
of this resemblance in the Sanscrit ' ta-d,' that (from ' ta,' the demon- 
strative, and ' d,' the sign of the neuter singular) ; in ' tada,' then, at 
that time ; and also (with the ' t ' weakened into ' s ') in ' sah,' he. 
The reflexive pronouns of this family, ' sva,' &c., are probably derived 
from the same base, though considerably altered. Compare also the 
Old Greek article, which is properly a demonstrative pronoun, 'to'?,' 
' TjJ,' ' TO ;' and the corresponding German ' der,' ' die,* ' das.' We 
find the same or a similar demonstrative (with an annexed nasal, as in 
the Dravidian ' tan ') in the Doric, ' t^v-os,' he, that, which is the form 
from which the jEolian ' k^v-o^,' and the later Greek ' i-xiiv-os,'' was 
derived (by a change similar to that by which the Hebrew pronominal 
suffix 'ka' was derived from 'ta'). The resemblance between ' t^v' 
and ' tan ' is certainly remarkable : and may not this Dravidian 
reflexive pronoun, which is used honorifically as a pronoun of the 
second person, throw some light on that curious, indeclinable Greek 
word which is sometimes used as a form of polite address, viz., 'rav or x 
''to TBI/,' Sir, My good friend, &c., and which has been derived by some 
etymologists from 't^v-o?,' by others from an obsolete vocative of 'to' 

or ' TVVTH ?' 

The same demonstrative, with a similar final * n,' appears also in 
the Old Prussian 'tan's' (for 'tana-s'), he; and in the Scythian 
tongues, we find it, either nasalised or pure, in the Finnish remote 
demonstrative 'tuo,' and the proximate 'tama;' in the Lappish 'tat' 
he, 'tan,' of him (root 'ta'); and in the Ostiak remote demonstrative 
' toma,' and proximate ' tema.' 

The reflexive pronoun is used by the Seoni G6nd both as a reflexive 
and as a demonstrative. Thus, in the Song of Sandsumjee, in 
Dr. Manger's paper (' Journal of the Bengal Asiatic Society '), ' ten,' 
means Amu (not 'se,' but 'illvmi^); 'tunna,' his; and ' tane,' Aer and 
it. The reflexive signification also appears in "the same song in 
'tun wa ' (Tam. ' tan'), ' suus-a-um.^ This seems to prove that ' ta ' was 
originally a demonstrative. 

The strongest argument, perhaps, for considering the Dravidian 'ta' 


or 'tan,' self, to be allied to the Scytho-Sanscrit demonstrative 'ta' is. 
the circumstance that ' tan,' the inflexional base of ' tan,' is used in, 
the formation of the word 'tanmei' or 'tanam,' quality, selfness, in 
precisely the same manner as the Sanscrit 'tad,' that; which forms 
the basis of the corresponding Sanscrit word ' tatvam,' quality, that- 
ness. The Dravidian word may have been, and probably was, framed 
in imitation of the Sanscrit (for so abstract a term is necessarily of late 
origin), but it cannot have been directly derived from the Sanscrit 
word. It seems very probable that both bases are remotely allied, and 
if they are so allied, their alliance carries us back to a very remote 
period : for whilst the Dravidian reflexive pronoun retains the original 
demonstrative 't,' the corresponding reflexive in every one of the Indo- 
European tongues 'sva,' 'se,' &c.) had already allowed 't' to be 
weakened into 's,' before those tongues separated from the parent 

4. Plurals op the Personal and Reflexive Pronouns. 
I class the plurals of these pronouns together because they are 
formed from the same pronominal bases as their singulars (which have 
already been investigated), and because they are all formed on one and 
the same plan, viz., either by the addition of a pluralising particle 
(generally ' m ') to the pronominal base, or by the substitution of that 
particle for the singular formative. Exceptions exist, but they are few 
and trivial. 

Comparison of dialects. — In the classical dialect of the Tamil, the 
plurals of the personal and reflexive pronouns ('nan,' /, 'ni,' thou, 'tan,' 
self) are 'nam' or 'yam,' we; 'nir,' 'niyir,' or 'nivir' (instead of 
the more regular ' nim'), you; and 'tarn,' selves. In the colloquial 
dialect a double plural has got into extensive use, which is formed by 
the addition to the classical plurals of ' gal,' the sign of plurality 
which especially belongs to the class of ii~rationals. In consequence of 
the' existence of these two sets of plurals, a difference in their use and 
application has gradually established itself. 

The classical or pure and simple plurals are now used in the collo- 
quial dialect as honorific singulars ; whilst the double plurals — ' nang- 
gal' ('nam-gal'), we; 'ninggal' ('nim-gal'), you; and 'tanggal' (tam- 
gal'), selves — are used as the ordinary plurals. A double plural has 
crept into the Telugu also; e.g., 'mirulu' (for 'miru'), you, and 
'varulu' (for 'varu^), they. Another point of difference between 'nam' 
and 'nanggal,' the two Tamil plurals of the first personal pronoun, 
will be inquired into under a subsequent head. The formation of these 
secondary, double plurals of the Tamil and Telugu is in harmony with 


a usage which is observed in the Turkish. In that language 'ben,' /, 
is regularly pluralised into 'biz,' tve; and 'sen,' thou, into 'siz,' you; 
but those plurals are sometimes pluralised over again by the addition 
of 'ler,' the ordinary suflSx of plurality; e.ff., ' biz-ler,' W)6, 'siz-ler,' 

In the verbal inflexions of the Tamil, the initial or radical con- 
sonant of each of the pronominal plurals (as of the corresponding 
singulars) disappears; and the pronoun is represented solely by the 
included vowel and the sign of plurality. The personal termination 
of the first person plural in the colloquial dialect is '6m;' in the 
classical dialect ' am,' ' am,' ' em,' ' em.' The termination of the 
second person plural is ' ir ' or ' ir,' the representative of ' nir.' The 
reflexive pronoun ' tarn,' selves, has no place in the verbal inflexions. 

Of the three High Tamil or classical plurals which have been 
mentioned — ' n^ra,' ' nIr,' and ' tam ' — two form their plurals by sub- 
stituting ' m ' for the final ' n ' of the singular, or by adding ' m ' to 
the crude root. This I consider to be the regular method of plu- 
ralizing the personal pronouns; and the use of 'nir,' you, instead 
of ' nim,' is an abnormal exception. This appears on comparing it 
with 'ning-gal,' the corresponding plural in the colloquial dialect, 
which is formed from ' nim ' — the plural that is required by 
rule, and which is found in the ancient dialect of the Canarese. 
It also appears from the circumstance that ' nir ' is not the base 
of the oblique cases of the plural of this pronoun in any dialect of the 
Tamil. ' m ' constitutes the sign of plurality instead of ' r ' in the 
oblique cases of ' nir,' precisely as in those of ' nam,' we. ' nam ' is 
represented in the oblique cases in the classical dialect by ' nam ' and 
' em ;' and by ' nam ' and ' enggal ' (' em-gal ') in the colloquial 
dialect. In like manner, the oblique cases of the plural of the second 
personal pronoun are 'um' and 'num' in the higher dialect; and 
' nnggal ' (' um-gal ') in the colloquial. ' nin,' the abbreviation of 
' nin,' being used in the classics as the inflexion of the old singular, 
we should have expected to find the corresponding 'nim' (from 'nim') 
in the plural : but both in the oblique cases and in the termination 
of the plural of the imperative, 'i ' has given place to 'u,' and ' num' 
or 'um' has supplanted 'nim.' 'num,' the plural inflexion of the 
Tamil, is identical with the nominative plural of the Brahui, which is 
also 'num. 

In Telugu the second personal pronoun is pluralised in the 
nominative by ' r' instead of ' m,' e.g., ' mir-u,' you; and in Telugu, as 
in all the other Dravidian dialects, 'r ' invariably forms the plural of 
the personal terminations of the indicative mood of the verb. It will 


be seen, however, in the sequel that there are indications in Telugu 
that this use of ' r ' is abnormal. 

In Canarese the plurals of all the personal pronouns are formed 
in the ancient dialect with perfect and beautiful regularity j e.g., ' an,' 
I, 'am,' we; ' nin,' <Aom, 'nim,' yoM/ 'tan,'s(sZf, 'ikm' selves. In the 
oblique cases the included vowel is shortened as usual; and the only 
other change which takes place is in the weakening (as in Tamil) of the 
radical ' a ' of the nominative of the first person into ' e,' e.g., ' emma,' 
our. In this particular, ' namma,' the form which has survived in the 
colloquial dialect is more regular, and evidently more ancient. The 
modem dialect substantially agrees with the ancient, the chief dif- 
ference consisting in the softening, in the nominatives alone, of the 
final ' m ' into ' vu ;' e.g., ' navu,' ' nivu,' and ' tavu,' instead of ' nam/ 
' nim,' and ' tarn.' 

In the personal terminations of the verb, the modern dialect uses 
'eve,' ' evu,' and 'evu,' as representatives of 'navu,' we; the 'e' of 
which forms corresponds to ' en,' the termination of the Tamil sin- 
gular. This final ' vu ' of the modem Canarese is not euphonic, like 
the ' vu ' of the Telugu singular, ' ni-vu,' thou; but is softened from, 
and is the representative of, an older ' m.' Though ' m ' is the true 
sign of the plural of the second person, as of the other personal pro- 
nouns, ' r ' is used instead in all the Canarese verbal terminations, as 
in those of all the other dialects. The ancient Canarese uses 'ir,' the 
modem ' iri ' and ' iri.' 

In Telugu the ' m ' which constitutes the pronominal sign of plu- 
rality is not softened into ' vu ' in the termination of the first person 
plural of the verb, as in Canarese. That termination is ' amu,' ' amu,' 
' emu,' ' emu ;' and in the preterite it takes the shape of ' imi,' through 
the influence of ' ti,' the preterite formative. The plural of the 
second person is represented by 'aru,' 'iri,' ' eru,' 'eru,' ' uru,' and 
' ru ;' of which ' r,' the plnralising suffix of ' miru,' you, is the only 
essential element. 

The Telugu difi"ers from the Tamil-Canarese in occasionally using 
' tar-u ' instead of ' tam-u,' as the nominative plural of the reflexive 
pronoun. This irregularity, however, like that of the pluralisation 
of the second personal pronoun by means of ' r' instead of 'm,' dis- 
appears in the oblique cases ; the plural inflexion or possessive of this 
pronoun being ' tam-a,' in Telugu, as in the other dialects. ' tamar-u,' 
sometimes used instead of 'tam-u,' is properly a possessive noun. 

The Telugu plurals ' ra^m-u,' we, and 'mir-u ' (or ' miru-lu'), yow, 
present some peculiarities which require to be separately inquired 


In common with their singulars, the inflexions of these pronouns 
reject altogether the final consonant — the sign of numher — and 
retain the long included vowel of the nominative unaltered. Thus, 
the inflexion or possessive of ' memu ' is ' ma,' and that of ' mira ' 
' mi ' — ooriesponding to the singular inflexions ' na ' and ' ni.' The 
objective case, however, follows the rule of the Tamil and Canarese; 
e.g., ' mama ' or ' mamma,' us, ' mimu ' or ' mimmu,' you. It may, 
therefore, be concluded that the mode in which the inflexions ' mi ' 
and ' ma ' are formed is irregular and of late origin ; and that in 
Telugu, as in the other dialects, ' m " is to be regarded as tfie received 
and regular sign of the plural of the personal pronouns. 

The chief peculiarity of these pronouns (' mem-u ' and ' mir-u ') 
in Telugu, is the change of the initial ' n ' into ' m.' It has been 
seen that ' na ' is the root of the primitive Dravidian pronoun of the 
first person singular, and 'ni' that of the second; that the most 
essential portion of those pronouns is the initial consonant ' n ;' and 
that the normal method of forming plurals from those singulars is by 
annexing to them a final ' m.' How then is it to be accounted for 
that the Telugu plurals have ' m ' as their initial and radical, instead 
of 'nV — 'mem-u' and 'mir-u,' instead of ' nem-n ' and 'nim-u' or 

I believe that this ' m ' is not to be considered as the represen- 
tative of an older pronominal root; but that it is merely the result 
of the euphonic attraction of the final ' m,' which constitutes the sign 
of plurality, I have been led to this conclusion by the following 
reasons : — 

(i.) In the higher and more ancient dialect of the Telugu, 
' memu,' we, is replaced by ' ^mu ;' precisely as ' enu ' is used in that 
dialect instead of ' nSnu,' /. These older forms, ' en-u ' and ' em-n,' are 
in perfect accordance with the Ancient Canarese ' an ' and ' am,' and 
especially with the personal terminations of the Tamil verb, ' en ' and 
'em.' It is demonstrable that the Canarese 'an' and 'am' have been 
softened from ' yan ' and ' yam,' of which another form is the Malay- 
sia ' njan ' and ' fijam ;' and I believe that these are derived by the 
ordinary change of ' n ' into ' nj ' and ' y,' from the Tamil ' nan ' and 
' nam.' 

We thus arrive at the conclusion that the ' m ' of the Telugu 
plural is abnormal, and that ' mem-u ' must have been formed from 
an older ' nem-u ;' and if, as I have supposed, the normal Dravidian 
' na ' itself is allied to, and weakened from, a still older Scytho- 
Sanscrit ' ma,' the remembrance of this, or the surviving influence 
of the fact, would tend to- facilitate a return of 'n' to 'm' in 

Y 2 


Telugn ; though I doubt not that the euphonic attraction of the ' m ' 
which is used as a sign of plurality, is to be regarded as the immediate 
cause of that return. 

(ii.) If the plural of the Telugu first person alone bad 'm' for 
its basis, we might possibly suppose that ' m ' to be radical and pri- 
mitivcj on account of ' m ' being the basis of the corresponding Scytho- 
Sanscrit pronoun ; but we find the same initial ' m ' in the plural 
of the Telugu second person also. Now, as it cannot be doubted that 
' ni/ the singular of that pronoun — agreeing as it does with the 
Behistun-Scythian and the Chinese, as well as with many of the 
Finnish forms — faithfully represents the primitive Dravidian pronoun 
of the second person, it seems certain that ' mim ' (the supposititious 
nominative from which the objective ' mim-mu ' has been derived) 
must have been altered from ' nim.' We may, therefore, conclude that 
the same process took place in the pronoun of the first person also. 

(iii.) The Telugu is more addicted to harmonic changes than any 
other Dravidian dialect. It alters both vowels and consonants for 
harmonic reasons so frequently, that the change from ' nem-n ' to 
' mem-u,' and from ' nim-u ' to ' mim-u,' would be thought by Telugu 
people a very natural and trivial one. 

Possibly this change throws light on a termination of the imperar 
tive in Tamil which has not been accounted for. 

The ordinary representative of the plural of the pronoun of the 
second person in Tamil imperatives is ' um,' a weakened form of 
'num;' but in the poets we find also ' min,' e.ff., 'kfin-min' (theme 
' kel,' to hear,) hear ye, instead of the colloquial ' kel-um.' Possibly 
this ' min ' is an euphonic displacement of ' nim,' that very abbrevia- 
tion of ' nim ' which we should expect to find used (instead of ' um ') 
in the older dialect. 

The Ku agrees with the Telugu, in the main, as to the mode in 
which it pluralizes the personal pronouns. Its nominatives are 'am-u,' 
we, and ' ir-u,' you ; but the inflexions of the same are ' ma ' and 
' mi.' In the personal terminations of the verb the plural of the first 
person annexes 'amu'; that of the second 'eru' or ' aru.' 

The Malayala plurals are nearly identical with those of the Tamil, 

The only difference deserving of notice is that the included vowel 
is abbreviated in the nominative plural, as well as in the oblique cases; 
e.g., ' njangal,' we, instead of ' ninggal, and ' ningal,' you, instead of 
' ninggal ; ' and that in the oblique cases the initial ' n ' is not lost, and 
' a ' changed to ' i ' in the first person and ' i ' to ' u ' in the second, 
as in Tamil, but the nominatives themselves are used unchanged as 
the bases of the oblique cases. 


In Tulu the plural of the first person is 'namma,' instead of 'n&m,' 
the inflexion of which is ' nama,' as in High Tamil. The only repre- 
sentative of this plural in the verbal terminations is ' va.' There are 
two forms of the plural of the second person, as in Tamil ; viz., ' ir,' 
corresponding to the Tamil ' nir,' and the double plural ' ninggal.' 
' ar ' represents this plural in the personal terminations of the verb. 

The Tuda plural of the first person is '6m,' as in the personal 
termination of the verb in colloquial Tamil. The representative of 
this plural in the verbal inflexions is ' imi,' as in the Telugu preterite. 
The plural of the second person is ' nima.' 

The Kota plural of the flrst person is 'n^me,' which in the personal 
terminations of the verb becomes ' emme.' The nominative plural of 
the second person is ' niye,' of which the inflexion is ' nima,' and the 
verbal ending ' irri.' 

In Gond the plural of the first person is ' amat,' of the second 
'imat;' the final 't' of which forms is inorganic and abnormal. 
The inflexion, like that of the Telugu, is ' ma ' for the first person 
plural, and ' mi ' for the second. The personal termination of the first 
person plural of the verb is ' am ' or '6m ;' of the second, 'rit ' or ' it.' 

The Uraon and Rajmahal dialects form the plurals of their personal 
pronouns regularly by changing the final 'n' into ' m.' Compare 
the Uraon ' em,' we, with ' enan,' /; i\e Rajmahal ' nam,' ' om,' we 
with ' en,' /, and ' nim,' the base of the possessive ' nira-ki,' your, 
with the singular nominative ' nin,' thou. 

In Brahui the plural of the first person is ' nan;' that of the second 
' num,' which is identical with one of the Tamil plurals. In the verbal 
inflexions the final ' n ' of ' nan,' we, represents the plural of the first 
person;' e.g.', ' aren,' we are: in the second person the final 'm' of 
' num ' disappears, and ' ri ' is used instead, precisely as in the true 
Dravidian dialects ; e.g., ' areri,' you are. 

The result of the foregoing comparison is, that the first person 
forms its plural in all the Drividian idioms (with the solitary excep- 
tion of the Brahui) by changing the final formative 'n' into 'mj' 
that the second person originally formed its plural in the same manner 
without exception, viz., by substituting 'm' for 'n,' though the 
verbal endings and the nominative of the isolated pronoun are now 
found to prefer 'rj' and that there is but one solitary and trivial 
exception (viz., that of an optional Telugu nominative) to the rule 
that the reflexive pronoun also forms its plural by discarding ' n ' and 
annexing ' m.' Consequeutly we are now entitled to regard ' m ' as 
the regular and ancient sign of plurality which is used by the Dravi- 
dian personal pronouns. 


' ar,' ' ir,' or ' r,' is the plural of all ' rationals ' in the Dravidian 
languages, with the exception of the three personal pronouns ; and the 
existence of this exception constitutes ' r ' a sign of the plural of the 
third person. How then has a termination which is peoaliar to the 
third person found its way into the second 1 In this manner, I appre- 
hend: — 'nir,' or more fully 'niyir' (ni-(y)-ir,) means literally thou + 
they; and this compound would necessarily bring out the signification 
you. The Sanscrit ' ynshme ' (' yu+sme'), you, is supposed to have a 
similar origin. 

Extra-Drdvidian relationship. — We now proceed to inquire whether 
final ' m,' the distinctive Dravidian plural of the personal pronouns, 
forms the plural of this class of words in any other family of languages. 

' m ' having a tendency to be weakened into ' n ' (of which there 
are many examples in the terminations of Tamil nouns), and ' m ' and 
' n ' being generally equivalent nasals, the use of a final ' n ' as a sign 
of the plural of pronouns, may possibly be equivalent to that of ' m.' 
If 80, we may adduce as examples of plurals allied to the Dravidian 
the Brahui 'nan,' the Chaldee ' anan,' and the Ostiak 'men,' we; 
as also the Persian ' tan,' you.' A slight trace of the use of ' m ' as 
a sign of the plural may be noticed in the Belnchi ' mimiken,' we, 
when compared with 'menik,' /. In the Ostiak, a Finnish dialect, the 
first person plural of the verb terminates in ' m,' whilst the" plural of 
the corresponding pronoun terminates in ' n.' On comparing the 
Finnish proper ' olen,' / am, with ' olemme,' we are, we are struck 
with their resemblance to the DrSvidian rule. The resemblance, how- 
ever, is illusory ; for the ' m ' of the Finnish ' me ' is a sign of per- 
sonality, not of plurality. ' me,' we, is the plural of ' ma,' the old 
Finnish I; of which ' na ' (from which the ' n ' of ' olen ' arises) is, 
as I have shown, an euphonic modification. We can scarcely indeed 
expect to find in the pronouns of the Scythian languages any sign of 
plurality perfectly corresponding to that of the Dravidian 'm;' for 
in those languages the personal pronouns are generally pluralized by 
a change of the final vowel, not by any change or addition of conso- 
nants: e.g., Manehu ' bi,' /, 'be,' we; Magyar ' te,' thou, 'ti,' you; 
Ostiak and Finnish ' ma,' /, * me ' (or ' men '), we. 

I have reserved till now the consideration of a series of close and 
remarkable analogies which run through the whole of the Indo-Euro- 
pean family of languages, and which are found also in the North- 
Indian vernaculars. In those languages we find very frequent use of 
' m ' in the plurals of the personal pronouns, in which it either con- 
stitutes the final consonant, or occupies a place of evident importance ; 


and this ' m ' in some instances appears to replace a final ' n ' or ' n' 
which is used by the corresponding singulars. 

In the vernaculars of Northern India we find the following 
instances of the use of ' n ' or ' n' in the singular and ' m ' in the 
plural. Hindi 'mai»,' /, 'ham,' we; 'tu,' 'tun,' or 'taim,' tliaii, 
'turn,' you: Gujarathi < hura/ I, 'hame/ w«; ' turn,' thou, 'tame,' 
you : Mar&thi ' tan,' thou, ' tumhi/ you. In Bengali and Uriya ' n ' 
disappears from the terminations of the singulars, but in the plural 'm' 
retains its place as in the other dialects : e.g., Bengali ' toma ' or 
' tumi,' the inflexional base of the plural of the second person ; and 
' Uriya ' tumbha,' the base of ' tumbhamani.' The same distinctive 
' m ' appears in the Pali-Pr4krit ' tumhe,' you, ' amhe,' we. Compare 
also the New Persian ' shum4,' you, and the final ' m ' of ' hastem,' 
we are. 

Similar and very striking analogies meet us in Greek. Compare 
the singulars 'ir^wv' and ' -rovv,' ^ i^wvrj' and '■tovvrj' with the 
plurals ' Tjiieli ' and ' bfiets.' This resemblance too is strengthened 
when the vowels of the Greek plurals are compared with some of the 
corresponding Dravidian ones : e.g., compare ' r/fi-eis ' with the Telugu 
' em-u,' we;' and ' ti/i-ecs'' with 'um,' which is the base of the oblique 
cases of the Tamil plural of the second person, and is used to represent 
that pronoun in the plural of the imperative. 

It also deserves to be noticed, that in the Greek, Persian, Gaurian, 
&c., ' m ' is not used indiscriminately by all nouns, or even by all 
pronouns, as a sign of plurality in general, but is invariably restricted 
to the pronouns of the first and second person-rrra usage which pre- 
cisely accords with that of the Dravidian languages. 

A strong case for regarding the ' m ' of the Indo-European idioms 
as allied to the plural ' m ' of the Drividian family has doubtless now 
been established ; and yet this resemblance, though so exact and con- 
fiistent, will be found on investigation to be entirely illusory! On a 
more extended comparison it diminishes, and at last it disappears. 
Perhaps, indeed, no better illustration can be found than that which 
will now be adduced, of the danger of confiding in apparent resem- 
blances, and of the value of comparison in philology. 

The resemblance of the final ' n ' of the North-Indian and of some 
Greek singulars to the final ' n ' of the singulars of the Dravidian 
pronouns, though probably accidental, is to be classed in a rather 
diflferent category from that of the plural ' m.' The final 'w' of the 
Hindi ' maiw,' ' tun,' &o, is an euphonic and purely inorganic nasal, 
which adds nothing to the grammatical expression : this is also the 
character of the ' v' of the Greek ' ir/iiv' and 'Toiiv;' and the origin 

328 THE PRONOUir. 

of those nasals is to be attributed to the euphonic influences from 
which the final ' n ' of the Tartar ' men ' and ' sen ' proceeded ; not, 
as I think, to the neuter termination of the Sanscrit pronouns 'ah-am' 
and ' tva-m.' On the other hand, the final ' n ' of the Dravidian 
pronouns is not a mere inorganic or euphonic addition, but is used 
distinctively as a sign of the singular, and in most of the dialects 
evinces greater persistency than the initial and radical ' n ' itself. 

Though, however, in actual use ' n ' is a sign of the singular, it 
may possibly have proceeded originally from an euphonic origin ; and 
this view is confirmed by the circumstance that in Canarese it is 
regarded as a formative, and accordingly is optionally dispensed with, 
and the crude, unformed root, without this addition, is occasionally 
used as the nominative singular. This ' n ' may, therefore, after all, 
have some ulterior connexion with the final ' n ' of the Graeco-Ganrian, 
as well as the Scythian singulars. 

This disturbing element being eliminated, we come now to the re- 
semblance which is found to subsist between the Graeco-Gaurian plural 
' m ' and the final ' m ' of the Dr&vidian plurals. On extending our 
comparison a few stages, so as to include those dialects which exhibit 
the original character of the Indo-European pronouns, no trace of a 
connexion between the ong ' m ' and the other, will be found to 

' rjfjLeh ' and ' vfieh' are not the oldest forms of the Greek plurals. 
For '^fj,eis,' the Doric and jEolic dialects have ' a/ie^,' ' a/tfies,' and 
• d/j,/j.6 :' for ' vjneTs ' they have ' v/iei^ ' vfi/ies,' and ' I'/x/te ;' of which 
forms, the oldest and most reliable appear to be 'a/t/tcs,' or its 
uninfiected type ' a/j,fie,' and ' v/i/j^s' or 'ilfifie.' When ' ufifie,' we, is 
now compared with the corresponding Prakrit ' amhe,' with the 
Gujarathi 'hame,' with the Zend (supposititious) 'ahme,' from which 
proceeds the possessive 'ahmakeni' (corresponding to the Prakrit 
'amhakam'), our; and finally with the Vedic-Sanscrit ' asme,' we, it 
is evident that the lastrmentioned form, ' asme,' is the normal type 
from which all the rest are derived. The progression is very clear-^ 
' asmS,' ' ahm^,' ' amhe,' ' a/ifie,' ' a/j,/jiA'E^,' = ' rj/iett,' ' hame,' ' ham.' 

In like manner on comparing 'vfifies' or 'S/i/ie,' you, with the 
New Persian < shum&,' with the Zend ' yushem' (in the oblique cases 
' yusma '), and with the Vedic-Sanscrit ' yushmi ' (for ' yusmg '), it is 
equally obvious that 'yusme' is the root of the whole, 'yusmfi,' you, 
the plural of ' tu,' thou, has probably been softened from ' tusme,' 
= ' tu-sme ' (as ' asme ' from ' masmS 5= ' ma-sme ') : and this suppo- 
sititious ' tusmS ' (weakened into ' tuhmS,' like ' asme ' into ' ahme ') 
becomes a reality, when we turn to the Prakrit ' turahe,' you, — -from 


which comes directly the Gaurian ' tumhi,' ' tumbha, ' ' tame,' 
' turn,' &c. 

It has now been ascertained that the Dravidian final ' m ' is to be 
compared, not with the apparently equivalent 'm' of ' ham' and 'turn,' 
but with the Vedic particle ' sme j' and the improbability of the exist- 
ence of any connexion between these two is evidently very great. 
This improbability increases when the origin of 'sme' is investigated. 

Bopp believes ' sma ' to be a pronoun of the third person, and 
explains 'a-sme' (for 'ma-sme'), we, to signify /+<Aey, and 'yu-sm6' 
(for 'tu-sm6'), you, to signify thou+they. 

Moreover, though the ' m ' which is derived from this ' smS ' is 
found only in the plural in Sanscrit and Greek, yet in Zend, Pali, and 
Pracrit it is found also in the singular ; e.g., Pracrit ' mamamnii 
=: (' mama-sm'-i '), in me, ' tumammi ' ( = ' tuma-sm'-i '), in thee. 
Bopp supposes this use of ' sm' ' in singular pronouns to be of late 
origin, and to have arisen from imitation of the plurals : but there is 
no proof whatever either that ' sm' ' was originally a pronoun of the 
third person, or that the plural has a better right to it than the 
singular. Possibly it may have been a particle of specification, like the 
' an ' prefixed to the pronouns of the first and second persons in the 
Semitic languages. But whatever may have been its origin, it is now 
evident that it is entirely unconnected with the ' m ' that forms the 
sign of plurality which is used by the Dravidian personal pronouns. 

Origin of this sign ofpluraliiy. — We have now to inquire whether 
the origin of this plural ' m ' can be discovered in the Dravidian lan- 
guages themselves, seeing that no trace of it is discoverable in any 
other family. It appears to me to have been derived from ' urn,' the 
conjunctive or copulative particle of the Tamil, and which appears to 
have been the primitive form of this particle in the other dialects also. 
On this supposition ' nam,' we, and ' nim,' you, resolve themselves into 
'na-um,' ' egoque,' and 'ni-um,' 'tuqiie.' This view is corroborated by 
the extensive use which is avowedly made of this very ' um ' in 
the formation of Tamil distributive and universal pronouns. Thus, 
' evauum,' every one, ' engum,' every where, ' vhique,' and ' epporudum,' 
always, every time, are unquestionably and a.vowedly derived from 
' evan,' ,who t ' engu,' where ? and ' epporudu,' what time i with the 
addition in each instance of the conjunctive particle ' um,' and; so 
that the compound pronoun everry one is regularly expressed in Tamil 
by who 1 and — ; every where, like ' nbique,' by where ? and — j 
always, by what time ? and — . In the same manner ' um ' is annexed 
as an auxiliary to some affirmative universals for the purpose of 


widening their application ; e.g.,. ' ella-(v)-um,' MalayS,lam, all, literally 
ail and — , from ' ella,' all, and ' um/ and. This form is abbreviated 
in Tamil into ' ellam ;' which is regarded and treated by grammarians 
as a plural; and if the addition of 'um,' abbreviated to 'm,' un- 
doubtedly constitutes pronominal distributives and universals, may not 
the sign of plurality which is employed by the personal pronouns be 
an abbreviation of the same ' um ?' A parallel case appears in Ostiak, 
in which the sign of the dual number (' ga,' ' ka,' ' gai,' ' gan,' &c.) is 
derived by Gastrin from ' ka ' or ' ki/ also. 

Twofold plural of the Drdvidian pronoun of the first person. — The 
ordinary plural of the Dravidian first personal pronoun is constantly 
used, not only as a plural, but also as an honorific singular, precisely 
as the Royal and Editorial we is used in English ; and the plural of 
every other Dravidian pronoun may optionally be used as an honorific 
singular in the same manner. It is not, however, this twofold signifi- 
cation or use of the same pronoun to which I now refer ; but the exist- 
ence of two pronouns of the first person plural, which differ from one 
another in signification almost as much as the plural and the dual of 
other languages. 

In all the Dravidian dialects, with the exception of the Canarese 
and the higher dialect of the Tamil, there are two plurals of the pro- 
noun of the first person, of which one denotes, not only the party of 
the speaker, but also the party addressed, and may be called the plural 
inclusive ; the other excludes the party addressed, and denotes only the 
party of the speaker, and may be called the plural exclusive. Thus, if 
a person said we are mortal, he would naturally use the we which in- 
cludes those who are spoken to, as well as the speaker and his party, 
or the plural inclusive : whilst he would use the plural exclusive, or that 
which excludes the party addressed, if he wanted to say, 'we' are 
Hindus ; ' you ' are Europeans. 

There is a similar distinction between the two plurals of the first 
person which are used in the Marathi and the Gujarathi : e.g., 'hame' 
in Gujarathi, means we — the party speaking ; whilst 'dpane' means we 
— the party speaking, and you also who are addressed. There is no con- 
nexion between the particular pronominal themes which are used for this 
purpose in Northern India and in the languages of the South; but the 
existence of so remarkable an idiom in the North-Indian family, as 
well as in the Southern, demonstrates the existence in the Northern 
family of an ancient under-current of Dravidian, or at least of Scythian 
influences. The idiom in question is a distinctively Scythian one, and 
is one of those points which seem to connect the Dravidian family witji 


the Scythian group. ' There is no trace of this twofold plural in the 
Sanscrit, or in any of the languages of the Indo-European family, but 
it is found everywhere in Central Asia, in the language? which are 
spoken by the primitive, nomadic tribes. Thus the Manchu has 'mu,' 
we — of the one party, and ' be,' we — the whole company. The Mongo- 
lian has a similar idiom ; and it is found also in the Polynesian lan- 
guages, in many of the languages of America, and also in those of the 
Australian tribes. 

All the Dravidian languages do not use precisely the same plural pro- 
nouns as inclusive and exclusive plurals. The colloquial Tamil (with 
which the Malayalam and Tulu agree) forms the plural exclusive from 
'nS.m,' the ordinary and regular plural, by the addition of 'gal,' which is 
properly a neuter sign of plurality ; by which addition ' nam' becomes 
' nanggal ' in Tamil ; ' njangal ' or ' njangngal ' in Malayalam ; and 
' engngal ' in Tulu. 

The Telugu, on the other hand, uses ' mgm-u ' (answering not to 
the Tamil ' nanggal,' but to ' nam ') as its plural exclusive ; and as 
this is the simplest form of the pronoun, it seems better suited to |this 
restricted use than the reduplicated form. The Telugu, though differing 
from the Tamil in this point agrees with the Tamil in using ' memu' as 
its honorific singular ; and this use of the plural exclusive in Telugu 
as an honorific is more in accordance with philosophical propriety 
than the Tamilian use of the plural inclusive for this purpose : 
for when a superior addresses inferiors, it is evidently more natural 
for him to make use of a plural which excludes those whom he 
addresses, than one in which they would be included together with 

The Ku agrees with the Telugu, and uses 'am-u' (identical in 
origin with the Tamil ' nam ') to express the restricted signification 
which the Tamil gives to ' nanggal.' Its plural inclusive is 'aju,' the 
oblique form of which is ' amma ;' and the Telugu plural which cor- 
responds to ' aju ' (but which in meaning corresponds to ' nam ') is 
' manam-u,' the base and inflexion of which is ' mana.' ' manam-u ' is 
probably derived from ' ma,' the inflexional base of ' memu ;' with an 
euphonic addition, or possibly with a weakened reduplication. 

II.— Demonstrative Pronouns. 

The DrS.vidig,n languages, like most, if not all, other primitive, 
uncompounded tongues, are destitute of pronouns (properly so called) 
of the third person, and use instead demonstratives signifying this or 
tiuU, with the addition of suffixes of gender and number. In these 


languages ' he,' means literally that man ; ' she,' tluii woman ; and 
' they,' those persons or things. 

The words which signify man and woman have gradually lost the 
definiteness of their original signification, and shrunk into the position 
of masculine and feminine terminations. They are no longer substan- 
tives, but mere suffixes or signs of gender ; and are so closely incorpo- 
rated with the demonstrative bases that it requires some knowledge of 
the principles of the language to enable us to separate them. In 
comparison, therefore, with the Turkish and Ugrian languages, in which 
there is but one pronoun of the third person, the Dravidian languages, 
which possess three, appear to considerable advantage. Nevertheless, 
the speech of the Dr&vidians was originally no richer than the other 
Scythian idioms ; and it has at length surpassed them only by the 
Aryanistic device of fusing that-man,. that-woman, that-thing, into 
single, euphonious words. 

The signification of Tnan and woman still shines through in the 
masculine and feminine terminations ; but no trace remains of the 
words by which a thing and things were originally expressed, and 
which are now represented only by ' d,' the sign of the neuter sin- 
gular, and ' a,' that of the neuter plural. 

Four demonstrative bases are recognised by one or another of the 
Dravidian dialects, each of which is a pure vowel ; viz., ' a,' the 
remote, ' i,' the proximate, and ' u,' the medial demonstrative ', 
together with ' e,' which is the suffix of emphasis in most of the 
dialects, but is a demonstrative in Ku. The first two, viz., 'a,' the 
remote, and ' i,' the proximate demonstrative, are the most widely and 
frequently used. 

The medial 'u' is occasionally used by the Tamil poets, in Ancient 
Canarese, and in Tulu, to denote a person or object which is inter- 
mediate between the remote and the proximate ; and it will be found 
that it has ulterior affinities of its own. ' e,' the ordinary Dravidian 
suffix of emphasis, is used as a demonstrative in Ku alone, — in addition 
however to ' a ' and ' i ;' e.g., ' ev&ru,' they. It appears also in the 
Uraon 'Sdah,' this, the correlative of 'hudah,' that. The use of '6' 
being chiefly emphatic, I refer the reader, for an account of it, to a 
subsequent head. 

The ordinary remote and proximate demonstratives of the Dravi- 
dian dialects are the simple, short vowels ' a ' and ' i ;' and it will be 
found that every other form which they assume is derived from this by 
some euphonic process. 

1. Demonstrative pronouns. — The original character of the demon- 


strative bases is best exhibited by the neuter singular ; the formative 
suffix of which does not commence with a vowel, like ' an ' and ' al,' 
the masculine and feminine suffixes, but consistsin a single consonant 
' d,' with an euphonic vowel following it. The remote and proximate 
neuter singulars are in Tamil ' adu,' that (thmg), ' idu,' this (thing) ; 
in Telugu ' adi,' ' idi ;' in Canarese ' adu,' ' idu ;' in Malayalam ' ata,' 
' ita ;' in G6nd and Tuda ' ad,' ' id.' 

'd' having already been shown to be the sign of the neuter singu- 
lar which is used by pronominals and appellatives, and there being no 
hiatus between ' a ' or ' i ' and ' d,' and therefore no necessity for 
euphonic insertions, it is evident that the ' a ' and ' i ' of the neuter 
singulars cited above constitute the purest form of the demonstrative 
bases. In addition to ' adu ' and ' idu,' the High Tamil sometimes 
uses ' adan ' and ' idan.' These forms are probably derived from the 
annexation to 'ad' and 'id' of 'am,' which is dialectically and ordi- 
narily convertible into ' an.'^ (^.^r., 'aR-an,' virtue, ib identical with 
' aR-am.') ' am ' is a formative of neuter nouns ; and I conceive that 
it was not added to ' ad-u' and ' id-u,' till it had ceased to be known 
and felt that ' d ' was itself a sign of the neuter singular. ' dan,' 
the final portion of ' adan ' and ' idan ' is sometimes used in the high 
dialect, instead of ' du,' as the pronominal termination of the third 
person neuter singular of the participial noun, especially in the dative; 
e.g., ' seygiRadan-ku ' (euphonically ' seygiRadaR-ku '), instead of 
' seygiRadu-kku,' for or to the doing. 

The suffixes which are annexed to the demonstrative bases ' a' and 
' 1,' for the purpose of forming the masculine and feminine singulars 
and the epicene and neuter plurals, commence with a vowel. Those 
suffixes are in Tamil 'an,' for the masculine ; 'al,' for the feminine; 'ar,' 
for the epicene plural; and 'ei' or 'a,' for the neuter plural ; and 'v' 
is the consonant which is most commonly used to prevent hiatus. The 
following, therefore, are the demonstrative pronouns of the Tamil, viz., 
'avan,' 'ille;' ' ivan,' 'hie;' 'aval,' 'ilia;' 'ival,' 'hcBC;' 'aVar,' ' illi;' 
'ivar,' 'hi;' 'avei,' 'ilia;' 'ivei,' ' hwc' I quote examples from the 
Tamil alone, because, though different formatives of number and 
gender are sometimes annexed in the other dialects, those differences 
do not affect the demonstrative bases. All the above suffixes of 
gender have already been investigated in the section on 'The Noun.' 
The mode in which they are annexed to the demonstrative bases is the 
only point which requires to be examined here. 

The demonstrative bases being vocalic, and all the suffixes, with 
the exception of the neuter singular, commencing with a vowel, the 
euphonic consonant 'v' had to be used, to keep the concurrent vowels 
separate and pure. 


' V,' though most frequently used to prevent ' hiatus,' is not the 
only consonant that is employed for this purpose. The Ku being but 
little attentive to euphony, it sometimes dispenses altogether with the 
euphonic ' v,' and leaves the contiguous vowels uncombined ; e.g., 
' aanju,' he, ' aalu,' she. In Tulu ' y ' is sometimes substituted for 
' v,' e.g., ' aye,' he : and even this ' y' disappears in the corresponding 
feminine, 'al' (for 'aval'), she; in which the two contiguous vowels 
are combined. Even the Tamil sometimes combines those vowels 
instead of euphonically separating them : e.g., ' yavar,' who I is com- 
monly abbreviated into ' yar ;' and this is still further softened to 'ar,' 
in the colloquial dialect. 

In the higher dialect of the Tamil, ' n ' is often used euphonically 
instead of 'v,' especially in the personal terminations of the verbs. 
Thus, instead of ' irundan ' (for ' irundavan '), he was, th« poets some- 
times say ' irundanan j' and for ' irundava,' the^ (neuter) wia'e, the 
form which we should expect to find used, ' irundana ' is univ«rsally 
used instead. 

This euphonic ' v ' has in some instances come to be regarded as 
an integral part of the demonstrative itself. In the nominative plural 
of the G6nd neuter demonstrative, the final and characteristic vowel 'a' 
has disappeared altogether, without leaving any representative ; e.g., 
' av,' those {things), ' iv,' these (things). In the oblique cases ' a ' is 
represented by ' e.' In Telugu, though the nominatives of the neuter 
plural demonstratives, ' avi ' and ' ivi,' use ' v ' merely as an euphonic, 
yet in the oblique cases, the bases of which are ' va ' and ' vi,' the de- 
monstrative vowels have got displaced ; and ' v' stands at the beginning 
of the word, as if it were a demonstrative, and had a right per se to be 
represented. In the masculine singulars 'vadu,' 'ille,' 'vidu,' 'hie;' 
and in the epicene plurals ' varu,' ' ilU,' ' viru,' ' hi,' ' v ' euphonic has 
advanced a step further, and assumed the position of a demonstrative 
in the nominative, as well as in the inflexion. That this ' v,' how- 
ever, is not a demonstrative, and that the use to which it is put in 
Telugu is abnormal, is shown by the fact that in ' dS. ' and ' di,' the 
inflexions of ' adi ' and ' idi,' ' illud ' and ' hoc,' the neuter singular 
demonstratives of the Telugu, 'd,' though certainly not a demoa- 
strative, nor even euphonic, bat simply a sign or suffix of neuter 
singularity, has been advanced to as prominent a position (by a similar 
euphonic displacement) as if it belonged to the root. 

In Tulu ' avu,' which is properly the plural neuter, is used for the 
singOlar ; whilst ' atu,' (corresponding to ' adu '), is used to signify 
yes. A similar use of a plural form for the singular appears in the Old 
Persian ' ava,' it, which appears to be derived from ' ava,' those. 


2. Demonstrative adjectives. — When the demonstrative bases 'a' 
and ' i ' are simply prefixed to substantives, they convey the signifi- 
cation of the demonstrative adjectives that and this. When prefixed, 
they are indeclinable ; but on thus prefixing them to substantives, 
either the initial consonant of the sufestantive is euphonically doubled, 
e.c/., 'annal' ('a-(n)nal '), Tam., that day ; or if this euphonic doubling 
IS not resorted to, the demonstrative vowels are lengthened. The Tamil 
invariably adopts the former plan : the latter is more common in the 
Malayalam and Canarese. Where the substantive commences with a 
vowel, and ' v ' is inserted as usual to prevent hiatus, the Tamil, by a 
dialectic rule of sound, doubles this ' v,' as if it were regarded as an 
initial consonant : e.g., when 'ur,' Tam., a village, receives this prefix, 
it becomes not 'avur' ('a-(v)-ur'), but 'avvur.' 

The origin of this doubling of the initial consonant of the word to 
which the demonstrative vowel is prefixed, is to be ascribed to the 
emphasis which is necessarily included in the signification of the 
demonstrative. Through this emphasis 'a' and 'i' assume the cha- 
racter, not of ordinary formatives, but of qualifying words ; and the 
energy which they acquire influences the initial consonant of the 
following substantive, which is no longer an isolated word, but the 
second member of a compound. 

In the same manner and from a similar cause, when Sanscrit 
words which commence with ' a ' privative are borrowed by the 
Tamil, the consonant to which 'a' is prefixed is often doubled, at 
least in the colloquial dialect; e.g., 'afinjanam' (' ar(nj)-njanam,' 

The occasional lengthening of the demonstrative vowels, when 
used adjectivally, in Malayalam, Canarese, and the other dialects 
(without the doubling of the succeeding consonant), is merely another 
method of effecting the same result. The emphasis which is imparted 
in this manner to the demonstrative, is equivalent to that which the 
doubled consonant gives; and hence when the demonstrative vowels 
are lengthened, from ' a ' and ' i ' to ' a ' and ' i,' the succeeding con- 
sonant always remains single. The fact that the demonstrative vowels 
are short in the pronouns of the third person in each o